For some reason, books such as these never truly hit the mark.  Might it be because they set themselves up in much the same way as stand-up comics, who, for all intents and purposes, purport to be funny, but are more often than not, about as funny as toothache.  

Forty-fied – How To Be A Fortysomething covers an A to Z terrain of all things relative to said age, but reads rather like all those newspapers one gets given free at train stations.  In other words, sad, safe and with more saccharine than ought to be allowed; especially for a full-time-forty-some-one, such as journalist/scriptwriter, Malcolm Burgess.  

I say and sad and safe, as even S for sex reads more like a dentist's waiting room magazine: ''Work and family life all take their toll.  But bear in mind the mantra 'quality not quantity,' so that at least you'll be able to worry even more – especially if you tell your partner this and they try not to split their sides laughing.'' Hmmm.

I say saccharine because surely being forty is everything but...

David Marx        
Forty-fied – How to be a Fortysomething
By Malcolm Burgess
Icon Books – £7.99