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The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband | [David Finch]

The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband

At some point in nearly every marriage, a wife finds herself asking, "What is wrong with my husband?!" In David Finch's case, this turns out to be an apt question. Five years after he married Kristen, the love of his life, they learn that he has Asperger syndrome. The diagnosis explains David's ever-growing list of quirks and compulsions, his lifelong propensity to quack and otherwise melt down in social exchanges, and his clinical-strength inflexibility. But it doesn't make him any easier to live with.
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Publisher's Summary

At some point in nearly every marriage, a wife finds herself asking, "What is wrong with my husband?!" In David Finch's case, this turns out to be an apt question. Five years after he married Kristen, the love of his life, they learn that he has Asperger syndrome. The diagnosis explains David's ever-growing list of quirks and compulsions, his lifelong propensity to quack and otherwise melt down in social exchanges, and his clinical strength inflexibility. But it doesn't make him any easier to live with.

Determined to change, David sets out to understand Asperger syndrome and learn to be a better husband - no easy task for a guy whose inability to express himself rivals his two-year-old daughter's, who thinks his responsibility for laundry extends no further than throwing things in (or at) the hamper, and whose autism spectrum condition makes seeing his wife's point of view a near impossibility.

Nevertheless, David devotes himself to improving his marriage with an endearing, yet hilarious, zeal that involves excessive note-taking, performance reviews, and most of all, The Journal of Best Practices: a collection of hundreds of maxims and hard-won epiphanies that result from self-reflection, both comic and painful. They include "Don't change the radio station when she's singing along", "Apologies do not count when you shout them", and "Be her friend, first and always". Guided by The Journal of Best Practices, David transforms himself over the course of two years from the world's most trying husband to the husband who tries the hardest - the husband he'd always meant to be.

Filled with humor and surprising wisdom, The Journal of Best Practices is a candid story of ruthless self-improvement, a unique window into living with an autism spectrum condition, and proof that a true heart can conquer all.

©2012 David Finch (P)2012 Tantor

What Members Say

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  •  
    Patrick United States 05-02-12
    Patrick United States 05-02-12
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    "I wish I had read this many years ago"

    My kids are now grown and I missed most of it. I was there, but I was almost never really present. I have Asperger Syndrome (self-diagnosed), but not nearly as far on the spectrum as the author. My wife always tried to tell me how much trouble I was causing for everyone and how frustrated she was with me, but It always felt like an attack, and naturally I went into defense mode. After all, I was doing very well at work and bringing home lots of money.

    I'm now divorced and alone and would give everything I have for a chance to do it over again. If only I had heard another dad talk about it in this way, I may have swallowed my pride, put down my defenses and stepped up be the dad every kid deserves and the husband every wife deserves. By hearing someone else talk about and even laugh at themselves, it made it much easier for me to see these behaviors through someone else's eyes (while not being attacked).

    If there's even a chance you have AS (if you happen to be a software engineer, there's a very good chance) and you have kids or plan to have kids, then you MUST listen to this book.

    I don't think anyone could have read it better than the author, who is very funny. He does great voices.

    If you are a guy and you are married, I think it's very unlikely you are lucky enough to have found someone like Kirsten. Even so, there are several good ideas in here about how to change yourself.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brenty United States 05-09-13
    brenty United States 05-09-13 Member Since 2015
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    "A heartbreaking and hilarious look into Asperger's"

    I should have written this book, but David Finch beat me to it!

    The journey he took me on in this book was akin to that which Ebenezer Scrooge embarked on with the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come in "A Christmas Carol": I relived my early life, my current relationship, and saw the future -- MY future, if I continue on my current trajectory.

    What I gained from this book is a better understanding of myself through the perspectives of both someone very much like me, and also his loved ones. Not everyone has access to that kind of insight. And you can't beat the price.

    Even if you just want to learn more about a large subset of the population whose brains are wired differently than most -- and have fun doing it -- I can't recommend this book highly enough. But if you are an 'eccentric', 'outcast', or 'misfit' like me, or someone you love just struggles with connecting with others or getting through their day without having a meltdown, this may be the book that changes your life. After a lifetime of not making sense to even myself (much less others), it has changed mine for the better.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom Gunsmoke Carson City, NV, United States 11-09-12
    Tom Gunsmoke Carson City, NV, United States 11-09-12
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    "Can you fold laundry?"
    Any additional comments?

    Wonderfully real (especially... if you might be an Aspie). Mr. Finch's stories are touching, humorous, sad, enlightening and heartfelt. As an Aspie myself, I found this audio to be a goldmine of insights into behaviors of those on the spectrum, and the relational challenges which accompany the syndrome. The Author relates, with moving and witty examples, just how some of the relational challenges affected his neuro-typical loved ones and acquaintances, his path to realization (with the help of his loving Wife) of how different Aspie perspectives are, and offers practices which helped him mitigate the effects. For me, helped make sense of many of my life experiences and presented some practical ways to adjust my view and actions for the benefit of loved ones. Great listen.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia Corinth, NY, United States 04-16-12
    Julia Corinth, NY, United States 04-16-12 Member Since 2006
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    "Great for people with Autism, too"
    Where does The Journal of Best Practices rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is easily in the top ten of audio books, ever.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The character of Mary -- I understand her and relate to her.


    Have you listened to any of David Finch’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I read an essay about him about a year ago, this lead me to try this audiobook.


    What insight do you think you’ll apply from The Journal of Best Practices?

    My husband and son are people with autism -- I have friends with Asperger Syndrome as well. They are thriving, and their lives are like his -- not slow moving disasters. I love the impact of being able to point out hopeful outcomes.


    Any additional comments?

    I am so glad that I read this book, my highest reccomendations!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Jacobus, PA, United States 06-30-12
    Stephen Jacobus, PA, United States 06-30-12 Member Since 2011

    A Big Fan of Non-Fiction and Business Books as I am always looking to learn something New!

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    "Amazing book on relationships. Must read!!!"

    Even if you do not have anyone with special needs in your family, you will still love this story and laugh out loud.

    As a man on a quest to improve my marriage and relationship with my family (my daughter's needs are on the autism spectrum scale as well) this books story really hit home. I learned a lot about what goes through others minds, the fact they go through the same challenges too. It was an inspiring story, expertly told by the author and it was hysterically funny. You will love this true story! its a must read (hear!)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    smt4242 St. Louis, MO United States 05-28-15
    smt4242 St. Louis, MO United States 05-28-15 Member Since 2015

    smt4242

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    "Entitled asshole seeks redemption"

    This book. This guy... Holy cow. His wife is a saint. His new obsession became his wife and family and he tried to become what they needed him to be through obsession. It worked. But don't expect to sympathize much with his character.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Massett Batavia, IL 05-22-15
    Matthew Massett Batavia, IL 05-22-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Really explains a lot"
    Would you listen to The Journal of Best Practices again? Why?

    There is so much here that opened my eyes to my life and how I have been living since I was a kid.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    David Finch because I could relate to him and I don't like things that are outside of my comfort-zone


    Have you listened to any of David Finch’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The first realization with the test for Aspergers.


    Any additional comments?

    It was the best of Aspergers. It was the worst of Aspergers. While David can be verbose with his flowery descriptions, it is the exact thing I would do. That makes me not feel so alone or odd.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan Willis 04-09-15
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    "Incredible insightful"
    Any additional comments?

    For anyone who’s ever wondered, ‘maybe I have Asperger’s’, this is a MUST read. For the other two people you know it was very well written and EXTREMELY well delivered. Everyone who takes the time to purchase this audio book WILL receive great enjoyment.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thaddeus 03-31-15
    Thaddeus 03-31-15 Member Since 2015
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    "My life story."

    This was an amazing book. It was like reading my life story, only with the names and places changed. It was reassuring to hear someone else go through the exact same things. It was very well written and hearing the author read it added quite a bit to the authenticity. It certainly gives a jerk and his princess hope for a happier life.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dawn Farrell 07-07-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Good"

    Loved it! Great insight into relationships and how to make them work. I have already recommended the book to several others. The narration was good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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