Mad Girl's Love Song: Sylvia Plath and Life Before Ted by Andrew Wilson examines Plath's early life, the loss of her father, her relationship with her mother, and her school years to show the foundations of Plath's writing. It's an interesting and very readable look at how in this case biography shaped art. Wilson draws on material from Plath's mother as well as interviews with friends and relatives. As one review noted, this is a book that will appeal to people who enjoy a good biography even if they are not familiar with the subject.
The first female Supreme Court justice, Sandra Day O’Connor, is no stranger to the best seller lists, either. She’s the author of The Majesty of the Law, which discusses the way the American Supreme Court has evolved over the years and presents some of her own experiences as a justice. In Lazy B, she told of her early life growing up on a cattle ranch in Arizona. It’s a fascinating look at a vanishing way of life, well told with humor and grace. O’Connor’s newest book just came out this year: Out of Order is a brief but informative history of the Supreme Court, including some information on justices and important cases.
In Marilyn: the Passion and the Paradox, Lois Banner brings to the public new details of the star’s life, fifty years after Monroe’s death. A well-known scholar, Banner explores Marilyn’s childhood, sexuality, and premature death, paying particular attention to the political and social landscape of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Topping out at over 500 pages, this new biography also includes sections of black and white and color photographs. Fans of Marilyn Monroe will likely enjoy this volume.