The lovely people at Gotham Books were kind enough to contact me and send me a delightful book to review, titled Are You A Jackie Or A Marilyn?: Timeless Lessons on Love, Power, and Style by New York Times bestselling author Pamela Keogh. Fascinating and funny, Keogh wastes no time delving into the professional and private lives of American style icons Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Marilyn Monroe.
I must admit I’m really not a Marilyn fan, but Keogh wrote about her with such passion and conviction that I actually took a genuine, although fleeting, interest in the blond bombshell. I identify more with Jackie, frankly, because I’ve paid more attention to her life, her place in American history. So to answer the book’s central question, Are You A Jackie Or A Marilyn?- hands down I’m a Jackie girl.
While I probably wouldn’t have picked this book on my own, given my lack of interest in Marilyn Monroe, as you can tell from the series of dog-eared pages, I really enjoyed this book and plan to return to it again and again as a stylish reference guide. No small feat, Keogh deftly blends historical facts with tongue-in-cheek style, beauty and relationship advice to produce a work that is a fitting tribute to two of America’s most celebrated leading ladies.
What I Liked About This Book:
What impressed me and what I found most valuable were 1) Keogh’s extensive research in general, and 2) her accounts of what, and who, Jackie and Marilyn wore and where an aspiring Jackie or Marilyn girl of today might shop. A cornucopia of couture designers, skin care lines and stylists (some of which I’ve never heard) filled the pages of Chapter 2 Emulating Jackie Style and Marilyn Style and Chapter 3 Cultivating Beauty. Schlumberger, Zoran, Creed Fleurissimo perfume, Fogal, Norman Norell, Kenneth Battelle- in the words of Samantha Jones, I could hear the decadence calling! In Chapter 7 The Life of the Mind Keogh also reveals what Jackie and Marilyn kept on their bookshelves; I found it so fascinating I practically dog-eared every page of that chapter!
What I Disliked About This Book:
This book, much like the divas in its pages, is a bit high-maintenance. Each chapter is crammed with so much information (not extraneous mind you, just extra with a capital “E”) that it becomes distracting. Subcategories have subcategories. There are the J&M Life Lessons, J&M Field Notes, J&M Quicktests, the Secret Secrets, headings in pink and subheadings in bold, sections of text in pink or gray boxes, plus all the illustrations by Meg Hess (which are just divine, by the way.) Certainly, the succinct and classic adage of “less is more” applies here. I think the Quiz included in the introduction, the quotes at the beginning of the chapters along with the footnotes, the Secret Secrets and the delightful illustrations would have been enough.
Would I Recommend This Book? Yes!
All in all, I found this book thoroughly informative, witty and fun. Keogh’s extensive research into the lives of these two fascinating and famous women is to be applauded in and of itself. So if you are a fan of Jackie or Marilyn- or you are aspiring to their iconic style, this is a must have for you! Are You A Jackie Or A Marilyn is available for purchase here.
About the Author:
You can read more about the impressive and stunning Pamela Keogh here or check out her book trailer on YouTube below. As a Vassar girl herself, I suspect Keogh is more like Jackie, though her blond tresses and sassy demeanor pay tribute to Marilyn! So Ms. Keogh, Are YOU a Jackie or a Marilyn?
Nik, A Jackie Girl