Mrs-O.com is a blog dedicated to chronicling the fashion and style of First Lady Michelle Obama. Founded September 2008. 


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Weekend Reading

As I start this post, I can already anticipate a comment or two that will point out, at first glance, this has nothing to do with Mrs. O. But, hang on, I promise there are connections, even if a bit indirect. So with that: on this very rainy Sunday in the Northeast, I wanted to share two great new books, currently on my must-read list.

The first: "Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn?" by Pamela Keogh. Pamela Keogh is the author of one of my very favorite books, "Jackie Style." This book was one that sparked my interest in first ladies and style -- the pages worn thin from reading and re-reading over the years. It was a great thrill when an email from Pamela Keogh appeared in my inbox one afternoon in 2009. (You may have seen her comment on the blog from time to time.) We went to lunch a few weeks after getting in touch and discussed among other things, our mutual appreciation for the show Mad Men. At that point, Pamela revealed her new project, a book inspired, in fact, by a Mad Men episode. "Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn?" is a fantastic little style book about two of our greatest icons, which benefits from the zip and wit of Pamela Keogh's writing and the substance of a historical slant. It's a fun, light-hearted tome, with tips on becoming a woman of mystery, writing love letters, and of course, dressing with timeless style. On a Mrs. O-related note: Jason Wu offers praise with a back cover review, "I love this book! Jackie's and Marilyn's timeless fashion aesthetics extend beyond generations -- the fact that their styles inspire us is a testament to their originalities."

The second book: "A Tiger in the Kitchen" by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan. Anyone who has been reading this blog for some time will recognize the name. Cheryl was the writer behind the Wall Street Journal's Heard on the Runway blog, which was shuttered in the economic downturn. She was one of the early, prominent voices in the coverage of Mrs. O's style, which made the blog all the more missed. Cheryl used her departure from Heard on the Runway as an opportunity to explore another passion: food. She spent a year learning about her Singaporean family by cooking with them. The result is a memoir about food and family, "A Tiger in the Kitchen," which I can't wait to dig into. 

For more details, check out Cheryl's blog, A Tiger in the Kitchen, here. You can also find Pamela Keogh featured in the new issue of the fabulous Matchbook Magazine, here.

Finally, on another book note, I wanted to share a great new San Francisco Chronicle interview with Kate Betts on her book "Everyday Icon," here. For those who live in the Bay Area, Kate Betts will host several book signings and a lecture in San Francisco this week. Details are in the article. Enjoy!

P.S. Previous blog coverage on "Everyday Icon" can be found here.

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Reader Comments (17)

Others may not agree, but I think any conversation about style and fashion (very different things) on this site is a conversation, by virtue of context, about Mrs. O. So, I am grateful for the heads up about the Jackie/Marilyn book and will order it pronto.

I am beyond excited to know about Kate Betts coming to the Bay Area! I don't take the Chronicle (don't get me started - but we're strictly NYTimes in our house), and only check their website for movie listings. I would have missed the news of her visit and been devastated. I pre-ordered her book and really enjoyed it. I had the sense some Mrs. O bloggers felt it was somehow disloyal to Mrs. T to purchase another book besides her "Face of Democracy." I urge you to rethink the decision. They are very different books, written at very different moments. There is inevitably some overlap of information and photographs - especially to those of us who devour all things Mrs. O - but I am glad I added it to the mix. Betts deconstructs and evaluates in an English major sort of way that appeals to me. It does not take away from Mary's book in the least - in fact, I think it adds to it. And it makes me want Volume II of "Face of Democracy" even more.

I'm definitely going to the Book Passage reading Wednesday night. If anyone else here is going, we could figure out a way to meet! Perhaps a large brooch or three??

Sunday, March 6, 2011 at 1:00 PM | Registered Commenteroperafanatic

@Mrs.T i thought this might interest you all. Alexander McQueen's designer who designed michelle obama's state dinner dress is also to design the royal wedding gown...

Sunday, March 6, 2011 at 3:31 PM | Registered Commenterwinnie jeans


I read the article in today's Chronicle and am very excited to attend Kate Betts book signing at Neiman Marcus on Thursday. My husband gave me the book for Valentine's Day. Melina says she has a signed copy of my Mrs. O book. I look forward to getting it back from her in May when I attend her wedding!


Sunday, March 6, 2011 at 6:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterKelny

Kelny and Opfan, you will have to let us know how the event is. I have a copy of "Everyday Icon" and agree that it's fabulous.

Kelny, I will tell Melina that we chatted here. What a small world!

Sunday, March 6, 2011 at 8:59 PM | Registered CommenterMrs. T

Hello, my name is Asereht and I’m a bookaholic. I received a Kindle for Christmas and, foolishly, swore that I would not purchase any more books for a year unless they were available in the eBook format. Kate Betts book signing in San Francisco next week makes that promise null and void and too delicious to pass up. I’m really looking forward to the event and I’ll justify it by saying that anyone who celebrates Mrs. O is a fan in my book, it will be delightful to be in the company of others who share that same feeling, and my copy of Face of Fashion Democracy will now have a table mate.

@operafanatic – I wish I could meet you at the Book Passage on Wednesday but from my location (Concord), Neiman Marcus is a straight shot on BART which is especially attractive with all the wet drizzly weather we’ve been having. Enjoy your event...I know I will!!!.

Sunday, March 6, 2011 at 10:32 PM | Registered CommenterAsereht

Mrs. T we haven't seen michelle n awhile...N i thought these pics would be nice...Its michelle and barack...Going to sasha's school...For a parent-teachers meeting...here are the pics.

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 11:06 AM | Registered CommenterJaylanie2363

@Asereht - I cannot resist meeting you, so I'll be at NM! I'm in town all the time anyway, so I switched some appointments around. Since my hairdresser is near Union Square, I'm going to try to book a hair appointment beforehand. If I'm successful, my hair will look great. If I'm not, I'll be the woman of a certain age who desperately needs a partial highlight - easy to spot. In any case, I'll wear either a gigantic vintage jet pin, or a red one by Alexis Bittar (which I think Mrs. O has too, the little copycat).

See ya!

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 2:15 PM | Registered Commenteroperafanatic

@ operafanatic-Oh what a thrill…I’m doubly stoked now. Hmm , I don’t have any pins with brand named designers attached to them , but I do have several funky pieces I’ve picked up over the years in the Haight. The forecast for Thursday is for more on and off showers so I’ll definitely be wearing my favored Jones/New York red cashmere cape, with-- my also favorite-- Lions head pen. He is in profile with a flowing black enamel and diamond mane, and a single emerald embedded in his eye (stones all fake of course… lol).

Or, since you are a fan of the opera, maybe I’ll wear my mask of Comedy/Tragedy pin. I suppose it’s more apropos to theater rather than opera, but it’s close enough and definitely unique enough for identification purposes. What the heck…I’ll simplify it… I’ll hold up a sign (ala airport style) that says “I’m Theresa….are you Operafanatic”? . Black and red are my favorite colors so, even if your pin, my pin or my sign don’t do the trick….I’ll feel your spirit and I know we’ll connect. I’m really looking forward to it. See you there!!!!

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 3:41 PM | Registered CommenterAsereht

@ operafanatic & Asereht - I am sooo excited that you are going to meet each other. I wish I could be there. Unfortunatly I live in Trinidad and even when I visit the U.S. I visit NJ as that is where my husband lives..................you all will just have to give us updates on "The Event" ;-)

@ Jaylanie2363 - Thanks for the links. I needed the fix.

This weekend is Carnival in my country. If any of you are interested you can go to carnivaltv.net during the day tomorrow and witness the revelry. It's absolute fun. Tomorrow is the culmination but we have been partying since after Christmas.

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 4:49 PM | Registered Commentertrinisamba

@ Asereht (ah HA, I get the name now): I think the red cape will do the trick. I have a red and black one I could wear, if I can get all the dog hair off of it.

Actually, Kate may be able to introduce us since I've decided to go to the Book Passage appearance as well. I called them and she's definitely doing a reading, followed by a Q&A. I really want to hear her talk about the book. But, even though she may think I'm stalking her, I will not pass up the chance to meet you the next day. Just keep me out of the shoe department!

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 6:35 PM | Registered Commenteroperafanatic

I will see you both at N-M on Thursday and will wear my black and yellow pin that I bought from Carol Tannenbaum!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at 12:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterKelny

Re: Conference pictures from Jaylanie.....Bag details please!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at 4:34 AM | Unregistered Commentercanyongal

I am seriously annoyed that I live NOT where Asereht and OpFan are going. WAH!

Mrs T - this is your blog! If you want to write about pig breeding, or tuna ball soup or hang-gliding, you may. And we will LIKE IT.

I seriously want that Jackie/Marilyn book. Thanks for a heads up on more bookage!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at 9:31 AM | Registered CommenterPosh Tater

@Posh Tater, Kelny, and OpFan

On the night before Christmas, as I get ready for bed,
I’ll have visions of Lapel Pins stuck in my head.
To get my book signed is my purpose of course,
but meeting new friends is never a cause for remorse.
So I ‘ll keep my eyes rolling as I scan the crowd,
and when I finally spot you..I’ll try to not yell out too loud.
I too wish you could join us fellow blogger Posh Tater
but there may be another time, perhaps sooner than later.
I could go on…I’m sure I could say more
But don’t want to risk being a bore!

Have a good day everyone!!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at 12:57 PM | Registered CommenterAsereht

So . . . way more info than anyone except Kelny, Asereht and I need, but: NM just called me to say the appearance there is a book signing, not a reading. So, we will have time to chat together!

I will be there right around 1. I will, alas, still be the woman in need of a partial highlight, though I did manage to book a cut beforehand. Highlights next week. Drat!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at 1:00 PM | Registered Commenteroperafanatic

I like it because i was seeking for such type of info.

I hope it benefits all one who land up here.

Thanks for sharing!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 12:26 AM | Unregistered Commentercelebrity fashion

Darn, I totally missed the N-M signing but I am going to try to convince my husband to take me over to Books, Inc. on Chestnut St. at 7 pm before we have to be at a function for my work. "No distance is too far, no mountain too high, to get my Mrs. O book signed!"

Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 8:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterKelny

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