On my bookshelf - Summer Edition

Something happened that made me endlessly happy last month. After living with books strewn about the house in a haphazard manner, I finally had a home for them in our 'in progress' media room. Floor to ceiling shelves just waiting to house my ever growing collection of books that I love to buy and I am filling them fast. Over this summer I've read more than I have in a while. It is usually that other things have been demanding my attention but I've been trying to make it a priority to open a book rather than watch another movie or TV show.

So needless to say with this reinvigorated passion, there have been a number of good books that I have added to my library and I thought I'd share just a couple of my favourites with you just in time for the weekend.

Ava Gardner - The Secret Conversations by Ava Gardner and Peter Evans I have a constant fascination for the era of the true movie star of the 40's and 50's. Not like our movie stars today, these people were part of the Hollywood star making system where their image was the focus rather than their talent as they were literally moulded into revenue making machines. Their contracts included morality clauses, their names were often changed along with their looks and their private lives were often part of a publicity stunt. This book is a little different to a regular biography as it is based on transcripts of late night recordings between Ava Gardner and her coauthor Peter Evans as they wrote her autobiography in the late 80's. Late nights that were often accompanied by many stiff drinks as Ava became her most candid and then would regret saying when she saw the draft chapters. It is a fascinating look at her life in her own words.

Marilyn - The Passion and the Paradox by Lois Banner With hundreds, if not thousands of books written about Marilyn I was skeptical to find anything different about this woman that we still have an insatiable appetite for even over 50 years after her death. I am a self-confessed Marilyn fanatic and have read more than a few books on her life but this book is an interesting read that delves into Marilyn's history as a foster child and poses the question of was she the precursor to 1960's feminism. While many other Marilyn biographies focus on scandalous relationships and her untimely death, this book is an analysis to truly understand her personality and how she lived her life and ultimately understand what made Marilyn, Marilyn.

Z - A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Flowler Having now realised a theme in these books I've been reading lately of strong women who left enduring legacy's, it seems right that Zelda Fitzgerald is included. After the Great Gatsby explosion last year in pop culture and then seeing Midnight in Paris, I was excited to pick up this book in an airport to try to understand more about Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald's relationship. However what I ended up discovering was something more than a love story in a golden age and a more solid understanding of a woman who lead a generation as the first flapper.

Happy reading and have a great weekend friends!