Reading With Marilyn in ‘Yours Retro’

Marilyn by Eve Arnold, 1955

The latest issue of UK nostalgia mag Yours Retro (#49, with Gary Cooper on the cover) includes a feature on Hollywood’s penchant for photographing their stars reading. (I have listed all the books Marilyn owned, and others she reportedly read, here.)

“Marilyn Monroe was a voracious reader, and eager to break out from her dumb blonde image. In 1955, while waiting for a photojournalist friend to load the film to shoot her in a playground in Long Island, New York, Marilyn opened her copy of Ulysses by James Joyce. She said she kept the worn copy in her car and would read it aloud to try to make sense of it. This photo might have been staged, but her love of books wasn’t.”

And in next month’s issue (on sale May 26), we can look forward to an article about the making of Marilyn’s ill-fated last movie, Something’s Got to Give. Incidentally, Marilyn also graces the cover of Stephen Rea’s The Hollywood Book Club (2019), a compact visual treasury of her bookish contemporaries in Tinseltown.

Thanks to A Passion for Marilyn