"A laugh-out-loud, touching, and thoroughly enjoyable read."
- Rachelle Katz, Ed.D., author of The Happy Stepmother
Small Things Considered: Moments from Manliness to Manilow
The second collection of personal essays from award-winning and nationally-published author and essayist Joel Schwartzberg examines a variety of tiny obsessions and observations about modern life through the comic perspective of a remarried dad and pop culture junkie. Thirty-six hysterical, heroic, and haunting short pieces sum up a half-lifetime’s worth of experiences that range from relatable and reassuring to funny and fervent, and one extolling a certain 70's pop icon that really depends on how you feel about the guy.
2nd Place Winner
Read a sample chapter: "Under My Skin"
"A collection of humorous, sometimes poignant essays from an award-winning writer and happily divorced father who confesses to hating kids' music but loving Barry Manilow tunes. Although most of the essays are fun but shallow dips in the family pool, a few are more somber and affecting... Many parents, divorced or not, will see reflections of themselves."
- Kirkus Reviews
“Some of us fathers seem to have a way of expressing the depth, breadth and height of our feelings in memorable ways. Author Joel Schwartzberg is one of those fathers -- authors that resonate with me and remind me of the joys of fatherhood and why I love being a dad. Composed primarily of small vignettes from his life as a father, Small Things Considered offers some incredible insights into the choices we make every day in the simple acts of life. The writing is inspiring as always, aligns with my own experiences as a man, husband and father, and helps me remember that there is good in any situation. Small Things Considered helped me remember that as few other books have.
- Wayne Parker, About.com Fatherhood Editor
“Joel Schwartzberg doesn’t sweat the small stuff; he revels in it. Hilarious one moment, moving the next, he’s a superb essayist. Small Things Considered is chock-full of bite-size pleasures.”
- Jerry Zezima, nationally syndicated columnist for The Stamford Advocate and author of Leave It to Boomer and The Empty Nest Chronicles
“This was a book that was filled with great essays that were so much fun to read. Even though the essays were funny, they all shared some very heartfelt moments as well as putting into words many of the thoughts and experiences that I have had myself. The book was a quick read that will keep you smiling throughout!"
- Christopher Lewis, founder of the popular parenting blog "Dad of Divas"
"In today’s age there are so many ways to look at dadhood from provider, disciplinarian, jokester and coach, and Schwartzberg hits every one. There are so many ‘A-ha’ moments that express understanding, compassion and humor. It's an easy and delightful read, one that you will want to find a comfortable chair and slide into and not get up until you finish. You can read it all in an evening, only wanting to read it again, or choose, as I did, to relish the chapters, thirty-six of them, over a few days. I found myself laughing out loud as I saw myself in more than one of the stories, or reflected over a moment of pure genuineness that I had to share with someone else. Appreciate it just enough to take it for granted, only don’t let the brevity fool you. Small Things Considered: Moments from Manliness to Manilow will add something to your parenting repertoire you don’t expect. Enjoy it. I did."
- Dr. Archie Wortham for Fatherville.com
Joel Schwartzberg can turn a late commuter train into a story that even his grandchildren will some day repeat to the awe of their own offspring. Like the hard-candy Joel gave out on that train that day, his stories are sweet and a nice antidote to the mayhem of daily life.”
- David Brancaccio, host, Marketplace Morning Report from American Public Media
"With this series of short but revealing essays, Joel Schwartzberg manages to bring you into his funny and touching world in a way that looks effortless. He finds a way to pick small moments in his own life – whether a drive with the kids or a simple greeting from his dad -- that explore much deeper issues. Just a few pages in, and you’ll feel you know Joel like an old friend.”
- Peter McKay, nationally-syndicated humor columnist and screenwriter
"In Small Things Considered, Joel Schwartzberg brings every day moments to life with wit, charm, and just a bit of an edge. This is a laugh-out-loud, touching, and thoroughly enjoyable read, and Joel’s reminiscences and insights about his life experiences will give new meaning and appreciation to yours.”
- Rachelle Katz, Ed.D., author of The Happy Stepmother
"As a dad, it's hard not to read Joel Schwartzberg's newest book, Small Things Considered, without subconsciously nodding your head or feel a tear welling up. Organized in short chapters, it hits the nail on the head with each essay, especially where he describes life with kids and the experience of modern fatherhood."
- Paul Banas, CEO & Founder, GreatDad.com
“At times hilarious, poignant and utterly joyful, Small Things Considered is a delicious bite of parenting life.”
- Tracy Beckerman, syndicated columnist and author of Lost in Suburbia: A Momoir
"Joel Schwartzberg reminds me of David Sedaris -- only sweeter, and from the perspective of a Jewish, divorced dad. These poignant, sharply observant and smile-inducing vignettes on being a son, father and husband in suburban New Jersey manage to do what only the best humor can: tug at the heart while making us laugh at the human condition."
- Paula Derrow, former articles director at Self magazine and Editor of Behind the Bedroom Door: Getting It, Giving It, Loving It, Missing It
“Joel’s delightfully nostalgic confessions are some of the most entertaining -- and enlightening -- words you won’t be able to stop reading. His always insightful and humorous take on life's seemingly mundane events reminds us that our best moments usually happen when we’re not looking.”
- Brenda Ockun, Publisher, StepMom Magazine
"An enchanting collection of essays about various aspects of fatherhood. They’re easy to read, and short enough to do one or two at a time. What I particularly like is the easy and friendly style of writing... Joel has done a very good job of ‘winning over’ the reader. I heartily recommend grabbing hold of a copy!"
- Paul Wandason, FromaDaddy.com
“As a parent, child, spouse, and ex-spouse, I connected with Joel's stories on every level. I found myself alternately laughing, then tearing up -- sometimes both at the same time. These are snippets of a conscious, thoughtful life, delightfully poignant without being cloying or corny.”
- Janna King, TV and film writer, and author of Even Monsters Have Manners
“As a brand new dad, I related to much of Joel's musings, from finding out it's okay to play ‘Centerfold’ in the car with my daughter to telling her that I'm proud of her when she does something amazing. Like him, it all makes me incredibly happy and gives me the courage to continue being the best dad I can. New parent? Old parent? Grandparent? Read Small Things Considered. It'll make you smile over and over again.”
- Peter Shankman, author of Nice Companies Finish First
"Joel's Small Things Considered is a refreshing look at parenting, life and relationships. The book is amusing and insightful, with clever moments that make you laugh out loud. It's filled with a great mix of stories on fatherhood that will engage readers of all kind."
- Marie Roker-Jones, The Good Men Project