Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What I'm reading: November

I really love watching old movies from the '40s and '50s, so this month I picked up 3 books about 3 interesting Hollywood ladies. 

First was Edith Head: The Life and Times of Hollywood's Celebrated Costume Designer. Edith Head designed for dozens of movies, including Sunset Boulevard, Rear Window and Vertigo. It was fun to learn more about behind-the-scenes events of some classic movies. However, Head's legacy is not pristine. She won 8 Oscars, but never shared any of the credit with her costume assistants. Still, she remains one of the most famous and talented costumers in history. 

Next was The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe. This lengthy book dives into the history of arguably the most famous actress of the past century. Marilyn had a difficult childhood - bouncing back and forth between foster care and the home of her mentally ill mother. Monroe begins acting and rockets to fame. The book covers her struggles with her own demons, while trying to maintain her public persona. In the end, she dies a tragically young death. This book was really interesting, providing an in-depth look at every aspect of this well-known figure's life. 

Now I'm just finishing up High Society, The Life of Grace Kelly. This book introduces you to one of the most elegant actresses in recent memory. I was surprised by the fact that Kelly was so famous, when she only actually starred in 11 movies. Of course, the jump from actress to princess solidified her rise to fame. While this book was intriguing, it wasn't quite as "can't put it down" as the Marilyn Monroe book was for me. 

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