the ladybird book of the mid-life crisis
The Ladybird Book of the Mid-Life Crisis by J.A. Hazeley and J.P. Morris
If you're here in the States, I'm going to go ahead and assume that you don't know about Ladybird Publishing. Please forgive me if I'm too presumptive; despite my long association with and journeys to the UK, I was only vaguely familiar with them myself.
If you click the link above for Ladybird, you'll see that they publish books for young children. But Ladybird has been around in some form or another since 1867, and in the process has accumulated a back catalog of illustrations from their publications.
And they've transformed those lovely treasures into The Ladybird Books for Grown-Ups:
"This delightful book is the latest in the series of Ladybird books that have been specially planned to help grown-ups with the world about them.
As in the other books in this series, the large, clear script, the careful choice of words, the frequent repetition and the thoughtful matching of text with pictures all enable grown-ups to think they have taught themselves to cope. The subject of the book will greatly appeal to grown-ups."
The Mid-Life Crisis is empathetic to vulnerable grown-ups struggling through their mid-life crises, reassuring them that they are not alone in their desperation:
"Joe's body used to agree with him. It used to agree that his shirt fitted, that he could manage another pint, the he would be awake when the train reached his station, and that he had finished weeing. Now Joe's body disagrees with him on all these things."
"Phil does not regret leaving his wife, growing his hair and starting to wear cowboy boots. If he had not done that, he would never have met Megan. As long as Phil avoids making cultural references from before 1990, never reveals he has a blueyonder e-mail address and tries not to have a heart attack, he and Megan have a great future."
"Frank is forty-one. He has been to a record shop. He has re-bought all the music he liked when he was young, but in the most inconvenient format possible. He also asked the twenty-two-year-old behind the counter what new records were good. He bought everything she recommended because she had amazing hair. He hates all the new records, but not as much as he hates himself."
I'm thrilled to find that Touchstone looks ready to release a few of the books in this series in the States this fall, under a Fireside Grown-Up Guide to... line.