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Comfort me with Books


Keeping up with author and book maven Zibby Owens is like trying to capture the breeze. This literary impresario is the wordsmith behind “Bookends: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Literature” and “Princess Charming,” and is editor of two anthologies: “Moms Don’t Have Time to Have Kids: A Timeless Anthology” and “Moms Don’t Have Time To: A Quarantine Anthology.”

She is also creator and host of the award-winning daily podcast “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books” – a loving dialogue with her fellow authors.  She is the founder and CEO of Zibby Media, which includes a publishing house, a magazine, classes, retreats and a book club.

And in her spare time (!!), she recently opened Zibby’s Bookshop, an independent bookstore in Santa Monica, CA. Zibby (her expressive writing almost begs that we are all on a first-name basis) —mostly lives in New York with her husband, Kyle Owens of Morning Moon Productions, and her four kids ages 8 to 16. Beyondish grabbed her for a glimmer to weigh in on her latest on good reads and good eats.

Must-know breakfast spot in Santa Monica? And your go-to dish on the menu?

I love the oatmeal griddle cakes at Breakfast by Salt’s Cure. Last time my husband and I went there, I ate the entire order and was so full I didn’t need to eat again the rest of the day. I mean, I still did…but I definitely didn’t need to!

Best book to bring along for a solo flight on an airplane?

Whatever the latest Zibby Books title is.

Favorite Chef Memoir or Cookbook?

I love Ruth Reichl’s “Comfort Me With Apples.”

Get to know this up and coming SoCal writer.

Sarah Levy, author of “Drinking Games.”

Meg Ryan played the indie bookstore owner in “You’ve Got Mail.” Who will play you when they make your movie?

Yes! I loved that movie so much. Well, I have been mistaken for Sofia Coppola, once. By Harvey Weinstein! In a restaurant. He came over to me at my table, grabbed my hands and said, “Sofia. How are you?” I was so stunned I just said, “Great! How are you?”

Favorite diner or coffee shop in NYC?

Three Guys on Madison.

Best lobster roll on the East End of Long Island?

I have to say, I just got back from Maine and no East End lobster rolls even stand a chance. But the best place for diner fare is definitely the Candy Kitchen in Bridgehampton.

If you could break bread with any author, living or dead, who would that be?

I’d love to break bread with my late grandmother, Carol Levitan, who I called “author.” She wasn’t an official author but she was a writer. She would say, “I’m more of a Letter-to-the-Editor type.” But she wrote letters non-stop, both to all sorts of newspaper editors (!), but also to everyone she knew. I would do anything for another meal with her.

Favorite L.A. water-view dining location to read, write & edit while you munch?

Little Beach House Malibu. It took forever to get in to this Soho House location, but I just love it.

It’s August! These books pair well with Coppertone. 

“The Invisible Kingdom” by Suleika Jaouad.
“You Could Make This Place Beautiful” by Maggie Smith.
“Bookends: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Literature” (by me!).

For more information, follow Zibby on Instagram @zibbyowens and learn more at Zibby Media. And pop into Zibby’s Bookshop at 1113 Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, CA.


Ken Carlton

Ken Carlton, founder and editor-in-chief of Beyondish, is the author of six books, including "Food for Marriage." He was co-writer of "The Hunger" with Chef John DeLucie, a memoir about New York’s Waverly Inn. "The Hunger" was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Ken writes the Man in the Kitchen column for Inspirelle Paris.


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