Selections from Marilyn Monroe’s bookshelf

Born 97 years ago today, Marilyn Monroe remains a twentieth-century icon, representing cinematic glamor and sadly often remembered more for her untimely death than her acting talent or her contributions to the Civil Rights movement. Another thing few realize about Monroe is that she was a passionate book lover with a personal library containing over 400 titles.

Monroe read prolifically, devouring not only novels, drama, and poetry, but also nonfiction works dealing with psychology, politics, religion, philosophy, travel, and history. She was bold in her selections, unafraid of challenging herself with difficult texts like James Joyce's modernist classic Ulysses. While photographs of her reading Joyce's tour de force are often treated with a mocking sense of humor, this is only because so many have only associated Monroe with her screen persona and not with the intellectually curious woman she was when the cameras were not rolling.

Below are a few titles Monroe had on her shelf.

Selections from Marilyn Monroe's bookshelf

List created by STPLReferenceMadisonville

Contrary to her onscreen image, Marilyn Monroe was an avid reader. She consumed a variety of literature, fiction and nonfiction, potboilers and literary giants. Here are a few of the books she had in her personal library.

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