Marilyn Monroe owned over 400 books in her lifetime, and a large number of them were first editions. I have been able to add several to my recreation of her collection (including Hawaii and Invisible Man noted below). As I work my way through the books she owned to make the spreadsheet of all of her books, I have found eleven first editions (and I am only about a fourth of the way through her collection).

Here are five:

  1. Once There Was a War by John Steinbeck
Marilyn Monroe's copy of Once There Was a War by John Steinbeck
Image of Marilyn Monroe’s copy by Christie’s Auction house

2. Hawaii by James Michener

Marilyn Monroe Hawaii James Michener
Image from Wikipedia

3. Ulysses by James Joyce (technically a “first American edition”)

Marilyn Monroe reading Ulysses by James Joyce
Photographed by Eve Arnold in 1955

4. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Marilyn Monroe's copy of Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Image of Marilyn Monroe’s copy by Christie’s Auction House

5. On the Road by Jack Kerouac

Marilyn Monroe's copy of On The Road by Jack Kerouac
Image by Christie’s Auction house

Are you surprised by any of these? Have you read any of them?

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