Book Review: Learning to Breathe

Author: Alison Wright
Publisher: Hudson Street Press
MRP: INR 1021.94
Pages: 269
My Rating: 5/5

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” –Boyd Palmer

This book will do exactly the same—leave you breathless. I have read a few books based on the life experiences, autobiographies, inspirational pieces, but this book will stir you like none other. Period.

‘Learning to Breathe’ by Alison Wright, a renowned American photojournalist and a writer, is about a horrific account of her accident, during one of the photography assignments in the meandering mountains of Laos in Southeast Asia. In this book, she narrates about the incident in length and breadth; the consequences she had to face–her recovery, and the the battling situation between life and death. And, once she conquers the situation, her only aim is to climb Mount Kilimanjaro one day.

The depiction of her pain, struggle, near death experience, survival and all that it takes, is expressed way beyond words. You wish to live and don’t live the kind of life Alison has mentioned of her in the book. Both the feelings equally overpower you.

Traveling to the nooks and corners of the world is a dream for every person on this earth, but very few can make up to it. Alison Wright manages to do that with her passion for photography and love of exploring the new cultures, but she had a price to pay. Her story is excruciating, and surely successful in touching the hearts of one and all. It is awe-inspiring and is written in great depth of emotions and incidents.

Foreword by the Dalai Lama
The foreword of this book, written by the Dalai Lama needs special mention. He writes, “If you have courage powered by the resolute determination to never give up, you can achieve what others consider to be impossible”–a fulfilling line for something like ‘Learning to Breathe’. Thus, the book starts on a positive note and carry forward the inspirational elements with each flip of the page.

Who should read this book?
• This book should be read by all the aspiring photographers, to know that it takes a lot to be a photographer. Photography isn’t just about going places and capturing some extraordinary moments in your camera. However, the role demands a lot more and the challenges it has to offer can cost you a lifetime. Despite that what should matter is the undying passion for your click box.
• Then, this book should be read by each and every woman determined to live a life of her choice, struggling to mark an identity and is willing to set herself free from the society’s predetermined notions. ‘Learning to breathe’ is a live example of a woman crossing the barriers and chasing her dreams till the time her footsteps are in sync with them.
• Lastly, this book should be read by every person who believes in humanity, in the beauty of life and holds undeterred passion to follow his dreams and turn them into reality, despite all odds.

All in all, there is a lot to read and much more to learn from this book and the author, who never gave up. The book exemplifies the tryst with destiny and how life can change in the blink of an eye. However, the best part throughout this book is the constant denial of giving up and moving on with head held high and making impossible possible.

Grab your copy now

Anupriya Mishra is a writer, an independent blogger, a voracious reader and a freelance journalist. Truly in love with life, she wishes to celebrate each day by contributing to her blog. Her passions such as reading, writing, traveling, and photography have their unending space on the blog, which is a true reflection of her personality. She calls herself, “Wanderer by choice, Writer by passion.” To know more about her travel escapades, take a look at the “Travel & Living” section of the blog. Moreover, she conducts reviews of books, movies, hotels and restaurants. She also has a penchant for Fashion, Lifestyle, Events, Promotions, Books, Music, Features and Poems, all of which find space on the blog.


  1. Destination Infinity August 14, 2015 Reply
  2. Ravish Mani August 14, 2015 Reply
    • anupriyamishra August 14, 2015 Reply

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