Share

cover art for Zibby's Book Club pick! Ann Leary, I'VE TRIED BEING NICE: Essays

Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books™️

Zibby's Book Club pick! Ann Leary, I'VE TRIED BEING NICE: Essays

Season 20, Ep. 88

New York Times bestselling author Ann Leary returns to the podcast, this time to discuss I’VE TRIED BEING NICE, a light-hearted, vulnerable, and wise collection of essays about being a people-pleaser—and Zibby’s September Book Club pick! Ann reveals the origins of her essays, many of which were inspired by past blog posts and memorable personal experiences. She discusses the challenges of people-pleasing and standing up for herself and then shares anecdotes from her life (including gardening, alcoholism, ballroom dancing, a home bat invasion, moving from a beloved family home, and being an empty-nester.)


Purchase on Bookshop: https://bit.ly/4c4zJJ8


Share, rate, & review the podcast, and follow Zibby on Instagram @zibbyowens!

More episodes

View all episodes

  • 19. A Zibby Summer Reads pick! Yukiko Tominaga, SEE: LOSS. SEE ALSO: LOVE.

    22:43
    Zibby is joined by author Yukiko Tominaga to discuss SEE: LOSS. SEE ALSO: LOVE., a tender and honest debut novel about a Japanese widow raising her son in San Francisco with the help of her Jewish mother-in-law—which Yukiko reveals is inspired by her own mother-in-law. She talks about the San Francisco parenting community, the difference between Japanese and Jewish customs, and the universal nature of family and love. She also shares her best advice for aspiring authors—and details of her next project.Purchase on Bookshop: https://bit.ly/3Y54zhiShare, rate, & review the podcast, and follow Zibby on Instagram @zibbyowens!
  • 18. PEN USA award-winning author! Victor Lodato, HONEY

    19:26
    PEN USA Award-winning author Victor Lodato chats with Zibby about HONEY, a masterful and utterly enchanting novel about Honey Fasinga, an unforgettable heroine who escapes her mob family at 17 and reinvents herself as a stylish personality in the LA art world… but returns home decades later to settle old scores and confront family ghosts. Victor reveals who inspired this character and how he was able to capture the voice of an 82-year-old woman so perfectly. He also touches on his transition from theater to novel writing and describes his fascinating creative process, which always starts with a character’s voice.Purchase on Bookshop: https://bit.ly/3VYRXpcShare, rate, & review the podcast, and follow Zibby on Instagram @zibbyowens!
  • 17. Celebrity guest!! Paul Scheer, JOYFUL RECOLLECTIONS OF TRAUMA

    32:01
    Award-winning actor and comedian Paul Scheer joins Zibby to discuss JOYFUL RECOLLECTIONS OF TRAUMA, a vulnerable and hilarious memoir-in-essays about coming to terms with his childhood trauma and embracing his authentic self. Paul reflects on his experiences growing up with an abusive stepfather and how it shaped his need to hold onto positive memories through keepsakes. He also describes his late-in-life ADHD diagnosis and shares his best advice for aspiring writers. Purchase on Bookshop: https://bit.ly/4f1gx1lShare, rate, & review the podcast, and follow Zibby on Instagram @zibbyowens!
  • 16. Instant USA Today Bestseller! Steven Rowley, THE GUNCLE ABROAD

    24:12
    New York Times bestselling author Steven Rowley returns to the podcast, this time to discuss his much-anticipated sequel, the wildly witty and tenderhearted THE GUNCLE ABROAD. Patrick O’Hara, a reclusive former sitcom actor who unexpectedly becomes the guardian of his niece and nephew after their mother’s death in THE GUNCLE, is now, five years later, returning to his guncle duties by taking them to their dad’s wedding in Italy. Steven talks about his writing process, from tackling loss and grief to injecting humor into his stories. He also shares his approach to writing authentic, immersive travel experiences and his best advice for aspiring writers. Purchase on Bookshop: https://bit.ly/4cB7brEShare, rate, & review the podcast, and follow Zibby on Instagram @zibbyowens!
  • 15. Return guest! Jamie Figueroa, MOTHER ISLAND: A Daughter Claims Puerto Rico

    25:35
    Critically acclaimed author (and repeat podcast guest!) Jamie Figueroa joins Zibby to discuss MOTHER ISLAND, a poignant, lushly written memoir about a Puerto Rican woman’s relationship with home, lineage, and selfhood. Jamie reflects on her career as a massage therapist and its profound influence on her storytelling. She also shares what it was like to connect with her Puerto Rican community, examine her mother’s life and their relationship, and put a very complex family history on paper.Purchase on Bookshop: https://bit.ly/3VQHOuIShare, rate, & review the podcast, and follow Zibby on Instagram @zibbyowens!
  • 14. Finalist for The Women's Prize for Fiction, Claire Kilroy, SOLDIER SAILOR

    22:47
    Zibby speaks with Irish author Claire Kilroy about SOLDIER SAILOR, an urgent, gut-wrenching novel about new motherhood that explores the clash of fierce love for a new life with a seismic change in identity. Claire describes the relationship between her characters: Soldier, the new mom, and Sailor, her young child. She dives into the challenges of motherhood and the emotions that range from love to resentment. She also delves into her own writing journey, the long gaps between her novels, and her best advice for aspiring writers.Purchase on Bookshop: https://bit.ly/3LkmwARShare, rate, & review the podcast, and follow Zibby on Instagram @zibbyowens!
  • 13. NYT bestselling author! Francine Prose, 1974: A Personal History

    19:30
    Zibby is joined by critically acclaimed, bestselling author Francine Prose to discuss 1974, a remarkable, artistic coming-of-age memoir about the close relationship she developed with activist Anthony Russo, one of the men who leaked the Pentagon Papers—and the year our country changed. Francine shares how difficult it was to write about her younger self—although she has always hidden behind her fictional characters. She also shares anecdotes from her life in San Francisco in 1974 and explains how she wove historical and personal threads together. Finally, she hints at her next novel, which is set in 1857 England.Purchase on Bookshop: https://bit.ly/3VU8E5gShare, rate, & review the podcast, and follow Zibby on Instagram @zibbyowens!
  • 12. A Zibby Summer Reads pick! Paige Toon, SEVEN SUMMERS

    20:48
    Bestselling author Paige Toon chats with Zibby about SEVEN SUMMERS, a beautiful, heart-wrenching story about second chances, grief, and everlasting love. Paige shares the inspiration behind the novel (it involves sand art and a Taylor Swift song) and then delves into the story of Liv, a woman living in a beachside town, and Finn, a singer-songwriter who returns each summer. She also talks about Liv's challenges, including caring for her brother with Down Syndrome. Finally, she describes her journey from magazines to novels and her excitement about bringing her stories to a North American audience!Purchase on Bookshop: https://bit.ly/3XP2PsuShare, rate, & review the podcast, and follow Zibby on Instagram @zibbyowens!
  • 11. Academy Award-winning screenwriter! Graham Moore, THE WEALTH OF SHADOWS

    30:51
    Zibby is joined by Academy Award-winning screenwriter and bestselling author Graham Moore to discuss THE WEALTH OF SHADOWS, a thrilling, mind-expanding historical novel about an ordinary man—a tax attorney from Minnesota—who joins a secret mission to undermine the Nazi economy during WWII. Graham explains how he discovered this true story and delves into his extensive, fascinating research process, which included unearthing a hidden 700-page document from the US Treasury and meeting Ansel’s children. The interview also touches on the importance of accurate historical representation and making esoteric topics engaging for readers.Purchase on Bookshop: https://bit.ly/3xSwA0FShare, rate, & review the podcast, and follow Zibby on Instagram @zibbyowens!