Something I have wanted to do for a long time is write a book about Marilyn Monroe’s book collection, as there is so much to be said that really goes beyond what I can include in blog posts. Books shape minds and Marilyn Monroe’s vast collection reveals how she saw the world. In reading and researching these books over the past few years, I feel like I am bearing witness to her fears, her desires, and her interests. Many of Marilyn Monroe’s photoshoots feature her book collection, which tells us that she wanted the world to see her as a reader. As such, I think the story of Marilyn Monroe’s personal library is one worth telling.
This last week I finally took steps in that direction, establishing a writing group with another vintage-loving author (Taylor Hamby of Sputnik’s Vintage). My goal this week is to come up with an outline, which is difficult. Do I organize the book thematically? Do I organize it chronologically? What books do I include (and exclude)?
In preparation I likewise am reading (and re-reading) other biographies of Marilyn Monroe, (notably those by Michelle Morgan), and of course continuing reading the books she owned. My own replica of her collection has around 30 books now (though I have not reviewed all of them!) and I am continuing research of the books I do not yet own (some of them I have read already).
I hope to post book and research updates here periodically, as a way to keep myself on-track. Writing a dissertation was one thing–but writing a book for a general audience is something entirely new and a little daunting!