Event: The Reading Hour 2013.

It’s that time of year again—National Reading Hour—and last year for the event I chronicled the books I’d read and what I thought of them and thought I’d do something similar this year.

Without further ado, here’s an incomplete list (I threw out my day planner from last year in which I’d pencilled in time for reading certain publications so some of this is from memory) of the books I’ve read since then.

Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

Outrageous Acts & Everyday Rebellions by Gloria Steinem.

A Little Bit Wicked by Kristin Chenoweth.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? And Other Concerns by Mindy Kaling.

The Life & Opinions of Maf the Dog & of His Friend Marilyn Monroe by Andre O’Hagan.

Marilyn: The Passion & the Paradox by Lois Banner.

Vagina: A New Biography by Naomi Wolf.

The Crucible by Arthur Miller.

After the Fall by Arthur Miller.

Sweet Valley Confidential: 10 Years Later by Francine Pascal.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.

Hope: A Tragedy by Shalom Auslander.

The Summer Before by Ann M. Martin.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare.

The Amber Amulet by Craig Silvey.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck.

Undisputed by Chris Jericho.

Night Games by Anna Krien.

Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan.

The Misogyny Factor by Anne Summers.

Under the Dome by Stephen King.

Feminism & Pop Culture by Andi Zeisler.

What books have you been reading in the past year?

Related: The Reading Hour.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn Review.

Marilyn: The Passion & the Paradox by Lois Banner Review.

Vagina: A New Biography by Naomi Wolf Review.

Night Games by Anna Krien Review.

The Misogyny Factor by Anne Summers Review.

Books: All Eyes on Marilyn.

Following on from yesterday’s Marilyn Monroe anecdote, news broke last week that Farrar, Straus and Giroux publishing house will be releasing Monroe’s writings in the northern autumn, called Fragments.

Turns out Monroe wasn’t just tragically beautiful and beautifully tragic, but also a pretty smart cookie, according to editor Courtney Hodell. “She was a great reader and someone with real writing flair.”

Perhaps being married to playwright Arthur Miller rubbed off on her. Although, I think Monroe had to have had her head screwed on straight to orchestrate a career that has endured the sands of time, making her one of pop culture’s most relevant icons.

Many people can relate to being trapped in your own skin and never being seen as good enough by the people around you. Lindsay Lohan, please stand up. (Not ironically, Lindsay has posed numerous times as her idol, and has the Monroe quote “Everyone’s a star and deserves the right to twinkle” tattooed on her wrist.) Just how much Monroe felt “trapped in her famous body”, is partly revealed in The Genius & the Goddess: Arthur Miller & Marilyn Monroe by Jeffrey Meyer, which houses an appendix detailing the illnesses and operations of Monroe. She had thirteen abortions, eight alleged suicide attempts and hated her body. Everyone around her wanted to “take pieces of her, like she was less than a person”, until the day she died. After death, it is much the same.

Even if we see her as a beautiful woman who lead a tragic life at the very least, I think Fragments will prove that she was so much more than that.

Elsewhere: [Los Angeles Times] Marilyn Monroe, In Her Own Words.

[Book Slut] Genius, Goddess: Reading Theatre.