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Thursday, September 01, 2022

Review: Bookends

 Zibby Owens' Bookends is a memoir of her life, excluding her marriage to her first husband. The intro to the book mentioned that she was a book podcaster, but it didn't mention that she's the daughter of Stephen Schwarzman, the co-founder of Blackstone. This explains the life of privilege she has had, living in style in New York City even though she never really had a high paying job.

The book therefore describes the life of a privileged woman whose losses included losing her best friend in 9/11, working at one of the early startup incubators, and then having 4 children (which reads kinda weird because she completely left out her husband). Jonathan Blow once said in a lecture that when your life has been stripped of practically all danger, your sense of anxiety ironically goes into over-drive, so a woman in her state becomes paranoid and overly careful and precious about her kids. She eventually solves this problem in a way cliched to people in her class --- by falling in love with her tennis coach. This was such a cliche that even her dad put his head in his hands when she told him. But hey, it all worked out in the end.

The book does refer to all the books she read while parts of her life was going on. Her tastes are pretty pedestrian, basically New York Times bestsellers, no science fiction, etc.

For a book about books, you can't beat Jo Walton's Among Others. Bookends is a pale shadow of that novel, but does offer insights to how picking your parents carefully is very important to becoming an influencer.

1 comment:

N said...

Lol this is a great book review.

Interesting quote from Jon Blow.

Perhaps another reason that she had so much anxiety is because she had not learned how to overcome difficult challenges since her dad's money would always be able to buy her way out of anything.