Title: The Girl – Marilyn Monroe, The Seven Year Itch, and the Birth of an Unlikely Feminist

Author: Michelle Morgan

Pages: 256 Pages

Publisher: Perseus Books/Running Press

The Blurb

With an in-depth look at the two most empowering years in the life of Marilyn Monroe, The Girl details how The Seven Year Itch created an icon and sent the star on an adventure of self-discovery and transformation from a controlled wife and contract player into a businesswoman and unlikely feminist whose power is still felt today.

When Marilyn Monroe stepped over a subway grating as The Girl in The Seven Year Itch and let a gust of wind catch the skirt of her pleated white dress, an icon was born. Before that, the actress was mainly known for a nude calendar and one-dimensional, albeit memorable, characters on the screen. Though she again played a “dumb blonde” in this film and was making headlines by revealing her enviable anatomy, the star was now every bit in control of her image, and ready for a personal revolution.

Emboldened by her winning fight to land the role of The Girl, the making of The Seven Year Itch and the eighteen months that followed was the period of greatest confidence, liberation, and career success that Monroe lived in her tumultuous life. It was a time in which, among other things, she:

Ended her marriage to Joe DiMaggio and later began a relationship with Arthur Miller; Legally changed her name to Marilyn Monroe, divorcing herself from the troubled past of Norma Jeane; Started her own production company; Studied in private lessons with Lee and Paula Strasberg of the Actors Studio and became a part of the acting revolution of the day. The ripple effects her personal rebellion had on Hollywood, and in trailblazing the way for women that followed, will both surprise and inspire readers to see the Marilyn Monroe in an entirely new light.

The Review

Marilyn Monroe has always been an actress that I have been in awe of. Not necessarily for her acting skills – I can’t say that I have seen enough of her movies to make a fair judgement on that but as an icon I have always been overwhelmed by her power of longevity. It is nearly sixty years since her death and really there is only one Marilyn. You don’t even have to say her surname and people know who you are talking about.

Lately I have read a few books about her life and each one has compelled me to read more. What I have found with the other books I have read is a lack of warmth and a detachment to Marilyn Monroe as a person. In Michelle Morgan’s books you are given a very warm and sympathetic look at her life and that was really refreshing. Whilst Morgan doesn’t claim Marilyn was perfect she tries to understand the flaws and imperfections rather than making sweeping gestures.

Of all the Marilyn Monroe books I have read of late this happens to be the one I have enjoyed the most. It only looks at a relatively small (but important) period of Marilyn Monroe’s life but it shows just how much of an impact Marilyn Monroe made on the movie industry and helped paved the way for women working in that field that is felt even today.

The Girl – Marilyn Monroe, The Seven Year Itch, and the Birth of an Unlikely Feminist by Michelle Morgan.

For more information regarding Michelle Morgan (@MMWriterGirl) please visit www.michellemorgan.co.uk.

For more information regarding Perseus Books (@PerseusBooks) please visit their Twitter page.

For more information regarding Running Press (@Running_Press) please visit www.runningpress.com.

Stealing Marilyn MonroeTitle: Stealing Marilyn Monroe

Author: Sophie Warren

Pages: 214 Pages

Publisher: Alloy Entertainment

The Blurb

Juliet Chadwick has it all—a job at a New York art gallery, a great boyfriend, and a long-term career in the family business: theft. But unlike her father, Juliet plays it safe, sticking to small-time art heists and always covering her tracks. Until one day when her father’s creditors show up, demanding that she pay off his debts—or else.

And so Juliet comes up with a desperate plan, the greatest con she’s ever attempted: She’s going to steal Andy Warhol’s famous portrait of Marilyn Monroe from bachelor billionaire Edward Aster. All she’ll have to do is pose as the Aster family’s new nanny until she can get her hands on the painting. How hard can it be?

But all too quickly, Juliet finds herself falling in love with Edward’s children, and maybe even with Edward himself. Can she bring herself to pull off the ultimate theft—if it means stealing from a man who’s stolen her heart?

The Review

Well, how much fun is Stealing Marilyn Monroe? Let me tell you. A lot of fun.

Stealing Marilyn Monroe is a caper-filled adventure filled with intrigue, romance and art heist romps to boot.

The story is about Juliet Chadwick – art thief and mistress of disguise who steals high end canvases from the art world. Unlike her criminal counterparts she doesn’t sell them but steals them because her love of art and she wants to build up her own collection.

However, when her imprisoned father is beaten up by a bunch of heavy handed criminals, Juliet needs to steal for purpose; that purpose, to clear her father’s debt.

It is through this escapade that Juliet inevitably falls in love with billionaire and art collector Edward Aster. But will her love for him keep her grounded or just give her new opportunities for her stick fingers?

Stealing Marilyn Monroe is just a jolly good fun read. It is a speedy well paced read with plenty of mystery and intrigue. A great book to escape into.

Stealing Marilyn Monroe by Sophie Warren is available now.

For more information regarding Alloy Entertainment (@alloyent) please visit www.alloyentertainment.com.

3 Stars

Murder Lies and Cover UpsTitle: Murder. Lies, and Cover-Ups – Who Killed Marilyn Monroe, JFK, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, and Princess Diana?

Author: David Gardner

Pages: 292 Pages

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing

The Blurb

Uncover the real truth behind mass media accounts of how they died, and learn the reason for their murders.

These five deaths stopped the whole world in its tracks. We all famously recall where we were and what we were doing when JFK was assassinated, as well as the moments Elvis, Princess Diana, and Michael Jackson died. As for Marilyn Monroe, the candle flickered out long ago, but only now can the truth be told about how—and why—she died.

After combing through thousands of recently declassified FBI files and interviewing key witnesses, crime analysts, and forensic experts during years of research, investigative writer David Gardner has unearthed new information that will transform the way we look at these iconic tragedies that have long fascinated and intrigued the general public. Murder, Lies, and Cover-Ups reveals that Elvis Presley died not as a self-obsessed caricature but as a genuine hero who may have signed his death warrant going undercover for the FBI; how Marilyn Monroe’s secret affairs with JFK and his brother, Robert, left her in the crosshairs of a lethal conspiracy; why Princess Diana’s death was no accident; who ordered President John F. Kennedy’s assassination; and how on three occasions Michael Jackson “died” of painkiller drug overdoses in the months before his death.

In the wake of new evidence and testimonies, Murder, Lies, and Cover-Ups provides many of the answers that have been elusive for so long, while explaining what it was about these enduring legends that made their legacies burn so bright.

The Review

I would never have considered myself a conspiracy theorist but there are certain events throughout history that I have my doubts about. For me, it has mainly been about the deaths of Princess Diana and Marilyn Monroe. Ergo, when a book became available that looks into these events in more detail I knew I had to read it.

David Gardner’s Murder. Lies, and Cover-Ups – Who Killed Marilyn Monroe, JFK, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, and Princess Diana? is a fascinating read which actually corroborated many of my beliefs about these two iconic women; that there is mystery surrounding their deaths.

What is more I got to read interesting cases about three other celebrities that I hadn’t really given much credence to the conspiracy theories surrounding their demise.

Gardner really does give you food for thought. He does it without forcing his opinions upon you. He opens an envelope of clues and invites you to look for yourself and to make your own mind up. If his manner had been demanding then I don’t think his theories would have had the same validity.

I will be interested to read more from David Gardner.

Murder. Lies, and Cover-Ups – Who Killed Marilyn Monroe, JFK, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, and Princess Diana? By David Gardner is available now.

For more information regarding Skyhorse Publishing (@skyhorsepub) please visit www.skyhorsepublishing.com.

4 Stars

Marilyn MonroeTitle: Marilyn Monroe

Author: Barbara Leaming

Pages: 480 Pages

Publisher: Orion

The Blurb

Barbara Leaming’s Marilyn Monroe is a complex, sympathetic portrait that will forever change the way we view the most enduring icon of America sexuality. To those who think they have heard all there is to hear about Marilyn Monroe, think again. Leaming’s book tells a bran-new tale of sexual, psychological, and political intrigue of the highest order. Told for the first time in all its complexity, this is a compelling portrait of a woman at the centre of a drama with immensely high stakes, a drama in which the other players are some of the most fascinating characters from the worlds of movies, theatre, and politics. It is a book that shines a bright light on one of the most tumultuous frightening, and exciting periods in American culture.

Basing her research on new interviews and on thousands of primary documents – including revealing letters by Arthur Miller, Elia Kazan, John Huston, Laurence Olivier, Tennessee Williams, Darryl Zanuck, Marilyn’s psychiatrist Dr. Ralph Greenson, and many others – Leaming has reconstructed the tangle of betrayal in Marilyn’s Life. For the first time, a master story teller has put together all the pieces and told Marilyn’s story with the intensity and drama it so richly deserves.

At the heart of this book is a sexual triangle and a riveting story that has never been told before. You will come away filled with new respect for Marilyn’s incredible courage, dignity, and loyalty, and an overwhelming sense of tragedy after witnessing Marilyn, powerless to overcome her demons, move inexorably to her own final, terrible betrayal of herself.

Marilyn Monroe is a book that will make you think and will break your heart.

The Review

I never knew an awful lot about Marilyn Monroe. I knew she was an iconic actress and that she had been married to Arthur Miller and Joe DiMaggio. I knew that it had been rumoured that she had had an affair with JFK but all this stuff is the generic facts that most people know. Once I had read Barbara Leaming’s book I knew so much more.

What I really loved about this book was that Leaming didn’t glorify Monroe. She discussed matters of Monroe’s life in an in-depth but sensitive way. She had a knack of showing Monroe, warts and all, without making your perceptions of Monroe too altered yet giving you an extra dimension to consider.

It isn’t just the story of Marilyn Monroe. It is the story of film making and Monroe as one of the first cluster of women who tried to break through the glass ceiling of an industry long considered a boys club.

Marilyn Monroe is a fascinating read.

Marilyn Monroe by Barbara Leaming is available now.

35 Stars

A Dream Called MarilynTitle: A Dream Called Marilyn

Author: Mercedes King

Pages: 172 Pages

Publisher: Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA)

The Blurb

In the summer of 1962, nothing could prepare Dr. Charles Campbell for his first meeting with his new client, Marilyn Monroe. A reputable psychiatrist, he’s been hired by a studio executive to handle and subdue the star, no matter what it takes. Although he’s been warned about Ms. Monroe’s unpredictability, she’s not what he expected.

In the days that follow, Charles’ world is turned upside-down. Marilyn shares her secrets and threatens to go public with information that could ruin her career and destroy President Kennedy’s administration. Saving Marilyn from her self-destructive ways and crossing doctor-patient boundaries, might also cost Charles Campbell his life.

The Review

There are some deaths throughout history that have left people wondering about the validity of the reports on them. One such death is Marilyn Monroe’s. Conspiracy theorists have put forth likely scenarios over what actually happened to her rather than the autopsy report of accidental overdose. One of these theories is explored in Mercedes King’s book A Dream Called Marilyn.

A Dream Called Marilyn is a fictional account of the last few weeks of Marilyn Monroe’s life as told through the eyes of her (fictional) therapist, Dr Charles Campbell. The story explores the theory that Marilyn was murdered due to her relationship with both of the Kennedy brothers – John and Bobby; it also looks at her possibly mob connections and links her death to Frank Sinatra.

It is actually a really fascinating read and is unbearably sad if it is true.

If you are a fan of Marilyn Monroe or indeed fictionalised conspiracy theories then A Dream Called Marilyn is the book for you.

A Dream Called Marilyn by Mercedes King is available now.

For more information regarding Mercedes King (@Mercedes_King_) please visit www.mercedesking.com.

For more information regarding Independent Book Publishers Association (@ibpa) please visit www.ibpa-online.org/.

35 Stars