This is another small book, an art book of 95 pages showing a variety of Tarot card decks. It's a very nice book to look at. For Tarot card deck collectors, this book may incite their collecting lust a bit. The book starts with an introduction that sets up the book and gives a brief history of Tarot cards. This book looks at Tarot cards as an art form.
Check out the rest of my review at The Itinerant Librarian by clicking the link above. On a side note, the photo that BookLikes is using here is different than the cover of the edition I have, which is shown on my blog post.
If I've never mentioned my fascination with MM, well, I'm telling ya now. Ran across this copy at the bookstore and I couldn't resist plopping down $15.00 for the magazine. I tried to pass it up but...I sort of figured that there was little more for me to learn about this mesmerizing icon. I mean, I've read and own so many MM books and bios that it's just impossible to tell me anything new. Alas, NEW STUFF! Pics I've never seen (or forgot I've seen. Maybe.) Different sections offer different stories. For example, on page 32, there's an article entitled A SPLASH OF MARILYN that was originally published in June 2012 and adapted from Marilyn & Me (Doubleday). Stunning photographs by Lawrence Schiller. Fascinating behind the scenes look from Larry's point of view. Don't know Schiller? I can assure you. You've seen his work. Schiller famously shot the pool scenes of a naked Marilyn on set of Billy Wilder's Something's Gotta Give. Larry also shot candid photos on set of Let's Make Love and Some Like It Hot. I think this was one of my favorite parts of the magazine. While I knew Larry enjoyed a certain comraderie with Marilyn, and I knew a bit about the infamous shoot, I'd never read Schiller's actual words. He gives an insightful look at the business side of MM. Monroe had final approval over all photos and publicity stills, which was almost unheard of back then. According to Schiller,
"When it came to looking at photographs of herself, Marilyn was all business. I gave her the small contact sheets and a magnifying glass.
Marilyn didn't have a preconceived idea of how she wanted to be seen by the public. All she wanted was to make sure that her face or body didn't appear blemished in some way: a line here or a wrinkle there. She was interested in the total image; if the whole picture worked, Marilyn was happy."
There are also documents, poems, and journal entries excerpted from Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters by Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn used writing as a means of expressing herself. Some of her poems take a dark turn but they're actually quite good. Contrary to the image Marilyn portrayed onscreen, she was hardly a dumb blonde. She loved intellectuals and reading was something she enjoyed. Like most book lovers, reading was an escape for her and it was helpful during her bouts with chronic insomnia. I can relate to that, too. Marilyn had an extensive book collection consisting of over four hundred books. 430 to be exact. Most of her collection was auctioned off at Christie's in October of 1999. How awesome would it have been to own those books once owned by MM?! From authors like James Joyce, D.H. Lawrence, poet Heinrich Heine, and Walt Whitman. Lots of great books in her personal collection.
I love Marilyn and I'm happy to include her as a fellow book lover. I may not own any books from her personal stack but I'm utterly happy to include this edition of Vanity Fair Icons to my ever-growing book collection.
Absolutely stunning! Fascinating history.
"Just to think, I realized, both this tree and the garden had witnessed a great swath of southern history. They had lived through the Civil War, the harsh era of Reconstruction, the death of the Barrows, who had been laid to rest just yards away from the oak itself in the family cemetery. Through the subsequent years, the oak and the garden had endured the days of the Depression, oftentimes neglect, the coming and going of different owners, the impacts of seasonal weather, and, finally, fire itself that demolished completely the great house, reducing it to a pile of ruins, the seeming end of Afton Villa.
But through it all, the old oak and it's surrounding gardens still stood - a symbol of endurance and a triumph of nature to overcome all disasters that would befall. Wasn't this, I thought with sudden clarity, exactly what had drawn Bud and me here in the first place? It was Afton Villa's miraculous ability to have risen, phoenix like, out of the ashes of tragedy. " - Genevieve Munson Trimble
The Victorian Gothic plantation, Afton Villa, before fire destroyed the great house in 1963.
Genevieve Munson Trimble, author and owner of Afton Villa Gardens.
This was an okay read - nothing knock-your-socks-off outstanding which I guess I was kind of expecting based on all the acclaim this was getting. I was expecting something super clever, but the mystery is pretty slight and the solution was rushed and a bit of a let down. I didn't particularly like the reliance on coincidence and the mystical. A far better art mystery for kids is From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. And an even better puzzle type mystery is The Westing Game. I won't read another in the series myself, but my daughter has already started the sequel, The Wright 3, so there is clearly kid-appeal here.