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Miss Moppet

I had heard she loved to read. I think the book she is reading in the picture is Ulysses? which I have yet to tackle!

Dorothy W.

That's certainly an impressive list! Surely she read a lot if not all of them? It's cool that she was fond of being photographed while reading.

Danielle

Miss Moppet--It is Ulysses. I had seen this photo before and assumed she was reading it when married to Arthur Miller--I didn't know she had a lifelong love of reading. Pretty cool. And I'm not sure I'll ever be up for Ulysses. Maybe someday?
Dorothy--It is a great list. I don't recognize all the titles, but she certainly had quite a few classics. I wonder if she got really tired of being treated so much as a sex symbol--only admired for her looks and not her intellect--that would be depressing really.

Caroline

I knew she was an avid reader, I have a collection of biographies on her and have read a few. I was fascinated by her when I was very young. I'm still fond of her but not obsessed like I was at 10+. She is an interesting and complex person. I got her book last year as a birthday present. She may very well have read a lot of those books. It makes me sad to think how much she had to fight the image of the dumb blond, how hurtful that must have been.

Victoria

What an interesting post - browsing a list of someone's books puts them in a whole new light. I particularly like the fact that she had a copy of The Little Engine that Could. When people keep their favourite childrens books you get a glimpse of what reading has meant to them.

litlove

Wow - good for Marilyn, that's such an impressive library. But I kind of feel I'd like to slip her a really good crime novel, one that shows women being taken advantage of brutally and then ultimately saved. It might have given her a different sort of idea.

Verity

I found this absolutely fascinating - 1. it's a great idea for a library exhibition (what people read), but mainly 2. I had no idea that she was so well read - that is such an impressive selection of books!

Stefanie

What a great idea for a library display! I knew she liked to read but I didn't know what she liked to read nor that she had such an extensive library. Very cool!

Kathy

Interesting post! I'm sorry to say I'm not nearly as well-read as Ms. Monroe, if she read even half the books in her library! Rather humbling. If my library was auctioned off...well, let's just say that there's a marked absence of classics and a huge number of cozy mysteries and self-help books, because I tend to buy and keep books I will reread. I often read "classics" just once, and check them out from the library.

Penny

Such an intriguing post. I knew Marilyn Monroe was an avid reader, just not how avid. Your library's display, and your list of books, is quite a glimpse into her life beyond a sex symbol.

I read an article, years ago, by feminist Gloria Steinem. She wrote about Marilyn Monroe. I think this is where I first became aware of her literary interests. Steinem posed the question of what Marilyn's life and image may have been like if she were born a few decades later.

Thanks for the links above.

Vipula

Well I am definitely not as well or as widely read as Marilyn Monroe - who would have thought? But I too wonder if she has read all the books-if she ever had the time to?

Elizabeth

I had no idea. How interesting. Thank you for sharing! Would make an interesting challenge, to read all of her library.

Danielle

Caroline--I'm actually tempted to read a biography of her now, though I've only been peripherally interested in her life before. This is very much another side of her I didn't expect. Probably everyone wanted something from her and books were a safe place to escape from it all. I wouldn't be surprised at all if she had read most of the books on that list!
Victoria--The library display caught my eye and I know I had a good look through her list of books she owned. You can tell quite a lot about a person from their books. She must have had a life long love of them to have kept childhood favorites.
Litlove--I don't see any crime novels here--that is an interesting idea. Her situation was somewhat unique and she must not have had a lot of stories to fall back on where she could see her situation very clearly or a way out of it. They would have provided quite a different perspective!
Verity--I wish I could say I had come up with the idea for the display, but it stopped me as well and I had a good look at the books. I didn't realize she was such an avid reader either. It is such an different and interesting side of her.
Stefanie--It's a little sad to think of her library all broken up, but hopefully whoever bought the books appreciates them for more than the fact they sat on MM's shelves. It makes me think she was a very sensitive (and probably fragile) person.
Kathy--I was thinking the same thing! What would people think of some of the books on my own shelves! I borrow loads of books and have an odd assortment of books I keep.
Penny--That sounds like a great article. I wonder if I can find it now. You do wonder what she would have been like outside that era--maybe she would have been a feminist?
Vipula--I have not read anywhere near the number of books that are classics like these, as she must/might have. I wondered, too, how she might have found the time, but maybe as she was waiting for the filming of her scenes? I'm very intrigued by her now.
Elizabeth--Lots of highbrow books on her shelves, that's for certain! These really are the sorts of books that you read over a lifetime!

Kathleen

I knew she had an intellectual side. People were surprised when she married the playwright, Arthur Miller but it makes sense when you consider that she was an avid reader and problem saw in him a kindred spirit.

Jodie

Taking advantage of this post to say 'Hey Danielle maybe you should read Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates' which is a fictionalised life story of a lady whose career very closely resembles Marilyn Monroes. I am pretty much in love with it and it will be a film (this year I think).

She really was a proper idol for ladies everywhere. If only the world hadn't got her down so much.

Danielle

Kathleen--I am curious now to know more details about her life. I only know things about her in a peripheral sort of way. I wonder how she met Arthur Miller and what their marriage was like.
Jodie--I will have to look for the JCO book. I had forgotten that she wrote about Marilyn--even if in a fictional manner. Interesting that it will be a movie. This has definitely sparked my curiosity of her now. I think you are right that she was idolized, but that must have been filled with pressure as well. It seems she lived a sad life really. Hopefully books gave her some private pleasures.

Unruly Reader

This is fascinating! So glad you posted about it

Tracey

Thank you so much for posting this list. I don't know much about Marily Monroe but find this really intersting and I love the photo of her reading!

Danielle

Unruly Reader--I have a book display for coming across the information--it is interesting to learn this about Marilyn.
Tracey--I had seen the photo before but hadn't realized she loved reading so much or owned such a large collection of books. It is very cool and something interesting to learn about her as I know very little also.

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