BOOKENDS by Zibby Owens

Zibby Owens is a juggernaut in the publishing world. She is the host of the Moms Don’t Have Time To Read Books podcast, the founder and CEO of Zibby Books, and the owner of a bookstore in Santa Monica, Zibby’s Bookshop (among many other bookish things). She is also a published author, with a memoir called Bookends and a novel on the way. I greatly admire Owens and all that she has accomplished and done for authors and publishing, and decided to pick up her novel as my last finished book of 2023.

Why I picked it up: See above.

Owens grew up in New York City, the child of very wealthy parents. She was a voracious reader, often turning to books to soothe social anxiety or just to escape. She also knew from an early age that she wanted to be a writer. Bookends, her first book, takes readers through Owens’ childhood and young adulthood, through marriage and divorce, four kids, her parents’ split, many losses (including her best friend, on 9/11), and the great contentment she found with her second husband and her success as a podcaster and, ultimately, a publishing multi-hyphenate. Owens also talks about the solace she found in specific books through the years with each chapter named for a book she read around the same time.

I enjoyed getting to know Owens through her engaging memoir, which is very honest and at times quite raw. She admits that she grew up with privilege, but she also demonstrates a very strong work ethic and sharp business mind, which she has clearly put to great use. I recommend Bookends for anyone interested in publishing and how one woman has had a significant impact on how books and readers find each other.

Bookends was the 56th and final book of 2023.