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The Nether World
This is a brilliant novel and George Gissing deserves more credit. He should be as famous as Dickens or Eliot. As the title suggests it is about the w...more
May 24, 2009
May 11, 2009
The Empty Glass
Loosely based on the many conspiracy theories surrounding the death of Marilyn Monroe, some of which are rather far-fetched - although serious questio...more
not set
Nov 21, 2012
Last Night at the Viper Room: River Phoenix and the Hollywood He Left Behind
I remember seeing Stand By Me when it first came out and falling in love with River Phoenix. I was shocked when he died of an overdose just a few year...more
Nov 26, 2013
Nov 24, 2013
Secrets and Lies
Secrets and Lies, the new memoir by Christine Keeler and co-writer Douglas Thompson, is essentially a reissue of her 2001 book, Christine Keeler: The...more
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Mar 18, 2012
Icon: The Life, Times, and Films of Marilyn Monroe Volume 1 1926 to 1956
There have been countless biographies of Marilyn Monroe, and yet rather than clarifying her story, this intense scrutiny has only created more mystery...more
not set
Mar 17, 2014
How to Be a Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood
Looks at Taylor's career in terms of how she was promoted during the studio era, and how she made the transition into the celebrity culture we recogni...more
not set
Mar 16, 2011
The Report
I was intrigued as to what an American author's take on this English wartime tragedy would be. Her source material was a government-commissioned inqui...more
Apr 14, 2011
Apr 08, 2011
The Blue Hour: A Portrait Of Jean Rhys
Carole Angier's earlier biography seemed definitive to many. This is a much shorter book, more of an interpretative biography and an introduction to J...more
Mar 28, 2011
May 28, 2009
I first read this many years ago. It's best-known for Norman Mailer's controversial text, but you could easily skip that and just enjoy it as a coffee...more
not set
May 28, 2012
Marilyn: A Great Woman's Struggles: Who Killed Her and Why. the Psychiatric Biography
Marilyn Monroe is perhaps one of the world's most famous - and tragic - psychoanalytic patients. Among the many books published about her, a few have...more
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Jan 23, 2013
This novel was the basis of Don't Bother to Knock, the 1952 movie about a disturbed child-minder, set during one night at a hotel. It's a good read an...more
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Aug 11, 2012
This is a strange, difficult read, and doesn't capture the imagination as instantly as Jane Eyre. The omniscient narrator reminds me of a male Victori...more
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Oct 03, 2011
Harlow in Hollywood: The Blonde Bombshell in the Glamour Capital, 1928-1937
This is one of the best pictorial biographies out there. The photos, text and design are all superb. A great introduction to the life and career of Je...more
not set
Apr 11, 2014
Marilyn: The Passion and Paradox
This is an ambitious, scholarly study of Marilyn Monroe, looking both at the narrative of her life and her place in history. While I don't agree with...more
Jul 25, 2012
Nov 15, 2011
Public Battles, Private Wars
This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of the most rancorous industrial dispute in modern history. The Miners' Strike began in March 1984, ending...more
not set
Apr 01, 2014
The Member of the Wedding
Astonishing look at a few days in the life of a bored, lonely teenage girl in the Deep South of the 1930s. McCullers's writing is so intensely detaile...more
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Feb 01, 2012
Amy, 27: Amy Winehouse and the 27 Club
It was quite refreshing to read something about Amy Winehouse that isn't 'official', but isn't tabloid either. It's not a biography as such, but it's...more
Aug 09, 2013
Aug 06, 2013
A brilliant and heartbreaking novel.
Apr 03, 2014
Mar 27, 2014
Dorothy Dandridge
Dorothy Dandridge was one of Hollywood's first iconic black stars. She was dubbed 'the black Monroe', but was a true original. Actually, she was a fri...more
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Jun 06, 2014
Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson
Like many, I've always had a strange fascination with this case. I've read many articles and watched documentaries, but until now never read a book ab...more
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Aug 28, 2013
The Bell Jar
I first read this in college almost 20 years ago. There is some brilliant writing here and Plath was incredibly brave in dealing so frankly with a dar...more
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Mar 24, 2011
I chose this after reading Jeffrey Eugenides' first novel, The Virgin Suicides, which I absolutely loved. Middlesex is a much longer book, but I was s...more
Jun 29, 2009
Jun 19, 2009
The Secret River
Kate Grenville's writing really gets under the skin. Though set in early 19th century Australia, The Secret River has a timeless quality. All about th...more
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Mar 29, 2012
Lana Turner: The Memories, the Myths, the Movies
As far as high-gloss, pictorial biographies go, this is outstanding. Lana Turner was one of the most glamorous Hollywood actresses of the 40s, and des...more
Oct 06, 2011
Oct 03, 2011
The Witch & Her Soul
Based on the trial of the Samlesbury witches, which collapsed in Lancaster during the same court session where, in 1612, the Pendle witches were conde...more
Nov 16, 2012
Nov 12, 2012
Travels With Myself And Another
I read this not as an afficionado of travel writing, or indeed travel in general. But I've certainly had my share of 'horror journeys', the subject of...more
Aug 14, 2009
Aug 04, 2009
Two Women (Panther Books)
Alberto Moravia was, in my opinion, one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. 'Two Women' is about a mother and daughter in wartime Rome, who f...more
not set
Jun 29, 2009
Year of Wonders
Over the summer I've been reading several recently-published novels related to the 17th century and/or witchcraft. This one is my favourite, maybe jus...more
Sep 05, 2009
Aug 26, 2009
The Age of Innocence (Oxford World's Classics)
A very depressing book - and probably true to life, but still...I wanted to thump Newland and Ellen for not running away together. I preferred Wharton...more
Jul 02, 2012
Jul 02, 2012
Famous Faces Yet Not Themselves: The Misfits and Icons of Postwar America
This book is both a study of the 1961 film, The Misfits, and of postwar American photography. The Misfits came with high expectations, but was conside...more
not set
Aug 14, 2013
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