"Schwartzberg transforms mundane events into hilarious, sometimes heart-wrenching tales" - New Jersey Monthly

The 40-Year-Old Version

The 40-Year-Old Version: Humoirs of a Divorced Dad


A unique and award-winning collection of funny and personal essays that examine how divorce reinvents relationships with kids and one's own sense of Dadhood.


The 40 short "humoirs" - heroic, hysterical, and heartbreaking reflections on being a part-time Dad in a full-time life - make a meaningful read for any parent, particularly the millions who've gone through divorce with their senses of humor intact.

1st Place Winner

2010 Next Generation Indie Book Awards

Humor Category


2nd Place Winner

2010 IndieFab "Book of the Year" Awards

Humor Category



2010 IndieFab "Book of the Year" Awards

Essays Category

Read a sample chapter: "The 37-Year-Old Version"



"As difficult as divorce can be, Joel Schwartzberg brings humor and realism to this otherwise dismal freefall experience. The author's writing is brilliant and engaging as he reveals 40 separate short adventures..... many of which await the newly divorced dad. A delightful read."

- David Knox, Ph.D., author of The Divorced Dad's Survival Book


"His humorous expressions of the trials and tribulations of fatherhood, as well as the joy he has found as a dad, speak to the common father, whether divorced or married. This would be a great gift to any father."

- Wayne Parker, About.com Fatherhood Guide


"Schwartzberg transforms mundane events into hilarious, sometimes heart-wrenching tales—from entertaining antics about cramming his twin girls, son, girlfriend, and five cats into a one-bedroom apartment, to moving reflections on his son’s battle with a misdiagnosed illness."

- Victoria Grantham, New Jersey Monthly


"A short, punchy book that finds the humor in divorce and marriage... Schwartzberg’s motto is, 'Steer your kids toward happiness.' This book will help steer dads and moms that way -- learning and laughing as they grow."

- Pat Turner, The Star-Ledger


"Writer Joel Schwartzberg explores his adventures in parenting, and shows us in a fresh way that it’s not easy being a Dad, or a kid especially after a divorce...Let his energy inspire you."

- Jill Dearman, Barnes & Noble.com


"The 40-Year-Old Version is filled with honesty and wry humor about the unexpected roads that life and fatherhood can take us down."

- Brian Frank, BookDads


"Between the covers of his collection of personal essays, there are amusing stories and very funny jokes, but also a lot of wisdom."

- Serena Solomon, The New York Times' "The Local"


"Schwartzberg has struck new ground in daddy lit.In his funny and touching book about divorced fatherhood, [he] dispenses some good advice...A sensitive yet lighthearted account of divorced fatherhood."

- Carolyn Stetler, The Star Ledger's "Parental Guidance"


"An engaging, witty, warm and exhilarating ride. The journey will inspire every reader – especially dads – to discover their own, unique parent inside."

- Dr. Will Courtenay, “The Men’s Doc,” psychotherapist and founder of SadDaddy.com.


“Joel Schwartzberg leads you through his insights and experiences as a divorced dad with a sincere honesty and natural humor that is greatly appreciated in a world where divorce and co-parenting are becoming so common.”

- Shirley Cress Dudley, MA LPC, author of Blended Family Advice, and founder of The Blended and Step Family Resource Center.


"This book takes a very serious and heart wrenching situation and puts a light-hearted spin on it, which leaves the reader laughing aloud. As a step-mom I can relate to Joel’s journey, and I am sure other people in similar situations, be it divorced dads, or their second wives, can find a comical, yet honest experience they can connect with."

- Teresa Dickerson, Founding Blogger, The Step-In Mom


'The 40-Year-Old Version' is not only clever, but smart and heartfelt."

- Robert Wilder, author of Daddy Needs a Drink and Tales from the Teacher's Lounge


"A captivating, humorous, insightful book offering wise, hard-earned guidance for divorced dads, this is the perfect gift for men who are co-parenting with their ex-wives."

- Dr. Linda Nielsen, President of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children and author of Between Fathers & Daughters


"Amusing, vulnerable essays about how a recently divorced guy grows as a father, a man, and a human being (and he sure cracks you up along the way!) A great read for all fathers!"

- Rachel Sarah, author of Single Mom Seeking


"An insightful, warm, and self aware look at what it’s like to be a divorced dad today."

- Peter McKay, Syndicated Humor Columnist


"The 40-Year-Old Version is laugh-out-loud funny, but the essays are warm as well as witty, touching on emotions all parents share. I found myself both giggling at the one liners and nodding at the wisdom of many of the parental observations."

- Linda Cashdan, author of Special Interests


"The 40-Year-Old Version is funny, but it also has a surprising emotional depth, wisdom, and dark candor that adds idiosyncratic poignancy to this engaging portrayal of single fatherhood."

- Susan Shapiro, author of Five Men Who Broke My Heart


"In a witty and endearingly realistic way, Joel tells the stories of today's divorced dadsand their endeavors to share life's truths with their children."

- Steven Ashley, founder of the Divorced Fathers Network and author of The Long-Distance Dad


"The 40-Year-Old Version is zippy and entertaining, but it also reveals something profound: that divorce is not the end of the world, and that fathers, mothers, and children can flourish in its wake."

- Jeremy Adam Smith, author of The Daddy Shift


"...Chock full of dead-on funny and tender snapshots of the wacky situations that color every family’s life, The 40-Year-Old Version is a revealing, sometimes courageous portrait of a passionate, vulnerable, and determinedly positive dad...If you ever grew up in a family, you’re going to love this book."

- Dr. Christine Ranck, co-author of Ignite the Genius Within.


"Amusing, vulnerable essays about how a recently divorced guy learns how to be "Dad" while also growing as a human being. A great read for all fathers."

- Dr. Chris Blazina, author of The Secret Lives of Men


"If you moms and stepmoms are looking for a great holiday gift for all the dads and stepdads in your life, I highly recommend this wonderfully hilarious and warm-hearted book…Joel’s self-deprecating and insightful humor reminded me of Dave Barry.

- Beth Shady, Shwanda.com


"The essays in this memoir are sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, sometimes absolutely heartbreaking...I love how the book shows his feelings for his kids and documents those little awkward moments that come with life after a divorce."

- Jacquelyn B. Fletcher, author of A Career Girl’s Guide to Becoming a Stepmom


"Takes humor mixed with a dose of reality and transparency and wraps it all together in a package that any father can enjoy regardless of marital status. I found that I laughed, cried, and was driven to thoughtful reflection during this enjoyable read."

- Dave Baldwin, TheFatherLife.com


"A hilarious jaunt... It gives fathers and parents in general a good opportunity to laugh and see parenting through different eyes."

- Christopher Lewis, DadofDivas.com


"Although many of the mini-chapters are just plain funny, there’s a healthy dose of real issues that concern dads — both married and divorced... Joel shows us dads that we are not as alone as we may have thought."

- Joey Guido, Daddy Brain


"As a woman who’s married to a divorced man with kids, Joel’s vulnerable wisdom hit a raw nerve...I applaud his courage to put his insecurities on the table, not only because it’s admirable, but because his candor is so damn funny."

- Izzy Rose, author of The Package Deal: My (Not-So) Glamorous Transition from Single Gal to Instant Mom


"...Not just a great read; it also gives a voice to divorced dads working without fanfare to stay involved in their children’s lives..."

- Ron Mattocks, Founder of ClarkKentsLunchbox.com and author of Sugar Milk: What One Dad Drinks When He Can't Afford Vodka


"Not only funny, but amazingly realistic and engaging. So many chapters of this book blend well together with the daily lives that we all share as divorced dads...I hope you will enjoy this book as much as I did."

- RJ Jaramillo, SingleDad.com


"Joel has a great sense of humour and provides insights that all dads, whether married, divorced, common-law, or what-have-you, can relate to at some level."

- Vincent Marra, The DadJam.com


"An exhilarating roller coaster ride, careening from stories that will make readers laugh out loud, to stories that will make readers shed a tear or two...If you haven’t found the perfect gift for that special dad on your list, may I suggest Joel Schwartzberg’s new book"

- Stefan Lonce, The Montauk Sun


"'The 40-Year-Old Version: Humoirs of a Divorced Dad' may just be the perfect father’s day present..."

- Mary Mann, Patch.com


"A thoughtful, loving tribute to dads and fatherhood..."

- Karen Deerwester, Examiner.com


"If you read one book about parenting this year, let this one be it..."

- Annette Van de Kamp, Examiner.com