Widely recognized around the world as the American symbol of sex, vitality and youth, Marilyn Monroe has melted hearts even long after her death at the age of 36 in 1962. One of the most unfortunate misconceptions about the blonde beauty is that she wasn’t the sharpest tool in the toolbox. This notion couldn’t be more wrong. Far from the light-headed characters Ms. Monroe was popularly known for, such as ‘The Girl’ in the famous The Seven Year Itch, this beloved icon practically devoured every book she could get her hands on. You may be surprised at some of the books on the list. There was so much more behind her beautiful face than people realized. Now, finally, we can connect to Marilyn through yet another love: books.
1. How To Travel Incognito by Ludwig Bemelmans
A light-hearted tale following a young Frenchman, along with the author as an additional character, as he puts himself in shenanigan after shenanigan traveling through France.
2. Thurber Country by James Thurber
A collective of hilarious pieces based on the author’s life. He shares his experiences with friendship, love, and the differences between how men and women work.
3. Camille by Alexandre Dumas
Also known as the Lady of the Camellias, this classic story surrounds a stunning and sought after heiress, Marguerite Gautier and her passionate love affair with equally as handsome, Armand Duval.
4. The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book by Fannie Merritt-Farmer
First published in 1896, this is one of the first step-by-step easy to follow cookbooks ever released. Very cool to have!
5. Ulysses by James Joyce
6. From Russia With Love by Ian Fleming
The 5th James Bond novel is filled with even more action, romance and of course, explosions.
7. The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm
One of the world’s best self-help books, this remarkable work, released more than 50 years dives into teaching us what it really means to unconditionally love ourselves, others, in addition to working to understand those who have closed themselves off to receiving or giving love.
8. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
A complete collection of various types of essays ranging from the psychological to the intellectual and includes topics such as the importance of giving, sadness, crime and true friendship among many others.
9. The Last Temptation of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis
A stunning account on the life and death of Jesus Christ. It brings to life the story that we all know so well, as well as the events leading up to his crucifixion. Kazantzakis does a magnificent job of expressing the depth of Christ’s emotions in the hour of what would change the fate of the world.
10. On The Road by Jack Kerouac
This story follows the author himself as he spent years traveling North America with one of his closest friends.
11. Selected Poems by D.H. Lawrence
Few have the same creative vision as famed novelist D.H. Lawrence did. In this book, readers can divulge into some of his most beloved pieces.
12. D.H. Lawrence: A Basic Study of His Ideas by Mary Freeman
An intricate study on the ideas of one of the world’s most creative and magnificent writers. Here are a few of Lawrence’s classics: Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Sons and Lovers, Women in Love, as well as The Rainbow.
13. The Magic Barrel by Bernard Malamud
Set in the up and comings of New York, this story focuses on the immigrant life of a starving Jewish artist, Arthur Fidelman as he tries to find his place in a world where the poor are too often overlooked.
14. Last Essays by Thomas Mann
A collection of essays from writer Thomas Mann.
15. Hawaii by James Michener
A tale about the aftermaths of an untouched Hawaiian island after a devastating volcanic eruption. The land is not discovered or inhabited until many years after the eruption, where it is re-discovered by American missionaries. Not all is well within the new discovery however, as trouble ensues between the people of the Island and the new residents.
16. Red Roses For Me by Sean O’Casey
Written by Irish playwright, Sean O’Casey, readers have described this book as similar in plot to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
17. God Protect Me From My Friends by Gavin Maxwell
A story on the life of the Sicilian bandit, Salvatore Giuliano.
18. Long Day’s Journey Into Night by Eugene O’Neill
The autobiographical work of Eugene O’Neill that was eventually turned into the widely known play.
19. The Little Engine That Could by Piper Watty; Illustrated by Loren Long
This is such an entertaining story with a great moral for kids: Never give up!
20. Once There Was A War by John Steinbeck
The perspective of World War II from the eyes of John Steinbeck himself. At the time the war was going on, Steinbeck was writing for The New York Herald Tribune and was covering the affects of the war on countries such as Italy and North Africa.
21. Camino Real by Tennessee Williams
A story unlike any other, get ready for a non-stop adventure that follows various literary and historical characters as they are impacted by the dead end Latin state, Camino Real.
22. A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
Most may immediately think of the movie starring Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh, though for those who do not know much about the story, it follows a troubled young woman who moves in with her sister in New Orleans only to find that more distress awaits her at the hands of her ruthless brother-in-law.
23. Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
A sweet, tragic romance about a young actress who’s relationship with a glamorous American couple leads to incessant heartbreak.
24. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Considered one of Hemingway’s most notable works, this novel brings to light the harrowing affects of World War I on its generation and those afterward.
25. Malcolm by James Purdy
One of the most hilarious books of its time, Malcolm follows a young boy as he encounters extremely unique characters and situations.
Do you and Marilyn share any common reads?
Originally Published On #AmReading.com