I can't stand Barbara Leamings book. She writes with a tone that makes it painfully obvious that she hates Marilyn. She goes on and on about Elia Kazan and Arthur Miller so much that it appears she wishes she was actually writing a biography about them. Her book is not accurate, and worst of all, the way it regards Marilyn is distastefully misogynistic--made that much worse by the fact that it's another woman regarding her this way.
The biography by Donald Spoto is excellent. It is highly regarded as one of the most accurate bios available. Other excellent books include:
Marilyn: The Ultimate Look At The Legend by James Haspiel.
Marilyn:Private and Undisclosed by Michelle Morgan
Something Had To Give by Richard Kirby
Will Acting Spoil Marilyn Monroe? by Pete Martin
Marilyn: An Untold Story by Norman Rosten
Marilyn and Me by Susan Strasberg
My Sister Marilyn by Berniece and Mona Rae Miracle
Books to avoid like the plague that they are:
Oh, and Fragments is excellent. You should get MM:Personal by Lois Banner to accompany it, the two books really should go together.
Marilyn Monroe researcher/investigative writer. Studied her for 19 years and own well over 100 books about her. I am friends with many of the authors I listed.