Personal Library | Marilyn Monroe, 1926-1962

Personal Library | Marilyn Monroe, 1926-1962
Marilyn Monroe reading Arthur Miller, her personal library contained four hundred books.
5) The Fall by Albert Camus
10) The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
12) The Art Of Loving by Erich Fromm
13) The Prophet by Kahlil Gilbran
14) Ulysses by James Joyce
16) The Last Temptation Of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis
17) On The Road by Jack Kerouac
23) DH Lawrence: A Basic Study Of His Ideas by Mary Freeman
26) Death In Venice & Seven Other Stories by Thomas Mann
27) Last Essays by Thomas Mann
39) Long Day’s Journey Into Night by Eugene O’Neill
46) The Short Reigh Of Pippin IV by John Steinbeck
47) Once There Was A War by John Steinbeck
50) The Roman Spring Of Mrs Stone by Tennessee Williams
51) Camino Real by Tennessee Williams
52) A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams (with notes by MM)
54) Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
55) The Story Of A Novel by Thomas Wolfe
56) Look Homeward Angel by Thomas Wolfe
58) Thomas Wolfe’s Letters To His Mother, ed. John Skally Terry
59) A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway
60) The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
63) Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck
64) The American Claimant & Other Stories & Sketches by Mark Twain
66) The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
83) The Medal & Other Stories by Luigi Pirandello
Marilyn%2BMonroe walt

Marilyn Monroe reading Walt Whitman

French Literature

78) Short Novels Of Colette
122) Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
123) The Works Of Rabelais
124) The Guermantes Way by Marcel Proust
125) Cities Of The Plain by Marcel Proust
126) Within A Budding Grove by Marcel Proust
127) The Sweet Cheat Gone by Marcel Proust
128) The Captive by Marcel Proust
129) Nana by Emile Zola
202) The Unnamable by Samuel Beckett
130) Plays by Moliere
201) The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad
203) Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Dog by Dylan Thomas
(Marilyn met Thomas in Shelley Winters’ apartment circa 1951)
204) Hear Us O Lord From Heaven Thy Dwelling Place, by Malcolm Lowry
Marilyn Monroe reading James Joyce, Francisco Goya
205) The Sound And The Fury/As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
208) The Philosophy Of Schopenhauer by Irwin Edman
209) The Philosophy Of Spinoza by Joseph Ratner
210) The Dubliners by James Joyce
212) The Collected Short Stories by Dorothy Parker
(Friend of Marilyn’s, lived nearby her Doheny Drive apartment in 1961)
213) Selected Works by Alexander Pope
214) The Red And The Black by Stendhal
215) The Life Of Michelangelo by John Addington
216) Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham (Niagara director Henry Hathaway wanted to film this
with MM and James Dean. It was eventually made with Kim Novak and Laurence Harvey.)
219) Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (a second copy?)
221) Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland/Through The Looking Glass/The Hunting Of The Snark, by Lewis Carroll
223) An Anthology Of American Negro Literature, ed. Sylvestre C. Watkins
224) Beethoven: His Spiritual Development by J.W.N. Sullivan
225) Music For The Millions by David Ewen
226) Schubert by Ralph Bates
227) Men Of Music by Wallace Brockaway and Herbert Weinstock

Marilyn Monroe

74) The Portable Poe – Edgar Allen Poe
75) The Portable Walt Whitman
211) Selected Poems by Emily Dickinson
259) Robert Frost’s Poems by Louis Untermeyer
(Marilyn befriended Untermeyer during her marriage to Arthur)
260) Poe: Complete Poems by Richard Wilbur (a 2nd copy?)
266) The American Puritans: Their Prose & Poetry, by Perry Miller18) Selected Poems by DH Lawrence
267) Selected Poems by Rainer Maria Rilke
268) Poet In New York by Federico Garcia Lorca
220) The Poems And Fairy-Tales by Oscar WildeRussian Literature
347) Redemption & Other Plays by Leo Tolstoy
348) The Viking Library Portable Anton Chekhov
349) The House Of The Dead, by Fyodor Dostoevsky
350) Crime And Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
352) The Plays Of Anton Chekhov
353) Smoke by Ivan Turgenev
354) The Poems, Prose & Plays Of Alexander Pushkin
355) The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
….complete catalogue here

Marilyn Monroe at a bookstore on Sunset Boulevard Beverly Hills 1953. Photo by Andre de Dienes

Andre de Dienes – Marilyn Monroe at a bookstore on Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills, 1953


4 thoughts on “Personal Library | Marilyn Monroe, 1926-1962


    Over at LibraryThing, you can sort through 262 books in Monroe’s collection, which included no shortage of great literary works – everything from Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, to Ulysses by James Joyce, to Crime And Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky and The Plays Of Anton Chekhov. Woody Guthrie’s Bound For Glory, a work that inspired Bob Dylan and other troubadours, shared shelf space with The Roots Of American Communism by Theodore Draper, still considered the definitive history of the American Communist Party. But alongside the heady texts of Freud, Proust and Bertrand Russell, there were the more quotidian texts that may … or may not …. reveal something about Monroe’s personal life: Pet Turtles by Julien Bronson, Sexual Impotence In The Male by Leonard Paul Wershub and, of course (like everyone else), Baby & Child Care by Dr. Benjamin Spock.


  2. “When the Phone didn’t ring, I knew it was you.”

    “Tell him I was too fucking busy. Or vice versa.”

    “Brevity is the soul of lingerie.”

    “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”

    “Four be the things I am wiser to know:
    Idleness, sorrow, a friend, and a foe.
    Four be the things I’d been better without:
    Love, curiosity, freckles, and doubt.

    Three be the things I shall never attain:
    Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.

    Three be the things I shall have till I die:
    Laughter and hope and a sock in the eye.”

    — Dorothy Parker / Inventory

    Oh, I can smile for you, and tilt my head,
    And drink your rushing words with eager lips,
    And paint my mouth for you a fragrant red,
    And trace your brows with tutored finger-tips.
    When you rehearse your list of loves to me,
    Oh, I can laugh and marvel, rapturous-eyed.
    And you laugh back, nor can you ever see
    The thousand little deaths my heart has died.
    And you believe, so well I know my part,
    That I am gay as morning, light as snow,
    And all the straining things within my heart
    You’ll never know.

    Oh, I can laugh and listen, when we meet,
    And you bring tales of fresh adventurings, —
    Of ladies delicately indiscreet,
    Of lingering hands, and gently whispered things.
    And you are pleased with me, and strive anew
    To sing me sagas of your late delights.
    Thus do you want me — marveling, gay, and true,
    Nor do you see my staring eyes of nights.
    And when, in search of novelty, you stray,
    Oh, I can kiss you blithely as you go ….
    And what goes on, my love, while you’re away,
    You’ll never know.

    -Dorothy Parker / A Certain Lady

    [D.Parker was a Friend of Marilyn’s,lived nearby her in 1961]

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