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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 [Kindle Edition]

David Finch
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (324 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $10.38
You Save: $5.62 (35%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

The warm and hilarious bestselling memoir by a man diagnosed with Asperger syndrome who sets out to save his marriage

At some point in nearly every marriage, a wife finds herself asking, What the @#!% 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, 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 with an endearing yet hilarious zeal. His methods for improving his marriage involve excessive note-taking, performance reviews, and most of all, the Journal of Best Practices: a collection of hundreds of maxims and hard-won epiphanies, including “Don’t change the radio station when she’s singing along” and “Apologies do not count when you shout them.” Over the course of two years, David transforms himself from the world’s most trying husband to the husband who tries the hardest. He becomes 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.

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Editorial Reviews


"With an alternately comical and starkly painful voice, Finch uses these and other moments of epiphany to explore the inroads of emotional intimacy. Funny, moving and insightful." ---Kirkus

About the Author

David Finch attended the University of Miami, where he earned a bachelor of music, then started his career as an audio engineer while playing the saxophone in several funk/fusion bands. In 2008 David was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome.

David Finch attended the University of Miami, where he earned a bachelor of music, then started his career as an audio engineer while playing the saxophone in several funk/fusion bands. In 2008 David was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome.

Product Details

  • File Size: 915 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (January 3, 2012)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004T4KRJM
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,555 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
128 of 132 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memoir of a Marriage of a Remarkable Couple January 7, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a great story, a memoir of an experiment in which the author, recently diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, works really, really hard on his marriage and his role as a husband and father of two young children. As an engineer, he believes that if he can apply the same dedication and to his marriage that he has historically applied to his job (in which he is very successful), he can achieve success and happiness in his personal life as well. It's written in a tender, honest, and humorous style, and is worth the read not just for those of us who are interested in AS, but for anyone who would enjoy the story of a man overcoming obstacles and prevailing.

It is of note that although the author always knew that he was different from other people, he never knew that he had AS until after he was married and his problems began to destroy his marriage. His wife, who is a speech therapist, helped his to suspect this diagnosis, which was then verified by medical professionals.

We only see his wife through his eyes, but this is her story too, and in many ways, this book is his love letter to her.

I chose this book to read because my husband is quite eccentric with many problems similar to the author's, and although he does not currently have an AS diagnosis (and probably never will), I thought it would be interesting to see how someone who was not neurologically typical and who is very articulate about himself views life. It was indeed a fascinating read.

The author is to be commended for working very hard on his marriage and being so generous to share about it in this memoir; his wife is a delight and a joy to love her husband deeply and with strong boundaries. This couple figured out how to get through life together and be happy. If you'd like to read about how they did that, and you'd like to see the world through the eyes of someone with AS, you will certainly enjoy this book.

Highly recommended.
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75 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So honest and funny January 22, 2012
About 2 days before stumbling upon this book, I bombed the very online Aspie quiz the author references in chapter 1 of this book. Honestly, I was laughing so hard at this chapter that I had to take a break. It is possibly the hardest I've ever laughed at a book. Oh, to be understood!

I was officially diagnosed a few days after that and one of the first things my doc said was, "You're probably kind of hard to be married to. You might need a little help with that." Who knew this book would actually be a powerful tool, too? I only bought it because it was funny. Now I can use it as a reference guide.

I don't think you'd have to be an Aspie to get a kick out of this book. Sensitivity levels seem to be imbalanced between many spouses. I'd think Best Practices could be cathartic and educational for the insensitive types. And I'd have to assume it would be a healing read for the people married to them, because Finch does an excellent job illustrating that he can and does love, regardless of the fact that he has a tendency to bungle the expression of it.

I admire Finch's guts. He bares it all.
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62 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Practices is the Best January 17, 2012
Normally I don't seek out books about marriage, being happily divorced myself, but I do enjoy memoir. Intrigued by the title, I decided to give The Journal of Best Practices a go. Wow! I was totally pulled in from the first sentence and the thrall just kept on coming. The author, David Finch, is one kooky, awesome, hilarious dude and although I can't say I'd like being married to an Aspie, I do appreciate a helluva great story, writing that sails, humor both silly and droll and warts and all truthfulness. Here is a man who wants to save his marriage and loves his neurotypical wife so much (she loves him back as fully) he's willing to try and re-wire his hard-wire. Prepare to laugh out loud. Prepare to enter the mind of an Aspie and learn about Asperger Syndrome. Prepare to mull over your own behavior and quirks. This is a book about the Finches getting back their pre-marriage friendship and love and "getting" each other again. (The author has some major challenges to overcome; hence the journal of the best ways to approach a problem.) Bottom line, Best Practices is a love story. Wherever we all are on the human spectrum, isn't that what we're looking for? I loved this book. Bet you will, too.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Insight I Was Seeking Into My AS Husband's Mind February 25, 2012
By Sherri
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is quite unique compared to the other AS books out there. It provided me with exactly what I wanted... an understanding of what it's like to have AS and be a married man having severe marital problems. I did not want another book telling me the definition, the list of symptoms, etc... but a true account of someone who deals with AS, as an Aspie, daily. I wanted to know the "insider" stuff. I wanted to know how married males see things, IF there was an AS married man on the planet who would actually attempt to address some of the issues in a marriage (seems to go against their AS nature, as far as I have seen), and IF one DID attempt to address the issues what issues would they feel needed addressed and how would they go about addressing them? (See my note below for why I really wanted to read something like this...better communication during divorce) This book is quite remarkable and was written by an AS man who became determined to save his marriage. He recounts in great detail his challenges and how he faced, and ultimately overcame, what he and his wife determined to be the major problem areas. Often times his way of dealing with an issue was unusual, but by seeing how he knew and used what worked for him those of us NT's in the world can see just how resilient and adaptable those with AS really are (Yes, they ARE adaptable!). The author's amount of effort and thought and downright perseverance leaves you cheering him on and hoping, if their is justice in the world, that he will succeed. His personal limitations, daily routines, and feelings of loneliness, etc... are very candidly described, all leading (me anyway) to a far better understanding of an AS mind. His willingness to share so much about himself was very moving, and helpful. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I have only seen this disease from the other side and I feel like I...
I found this book to be very insightful into the world of Asperger's. I have only seen this disease from the other side and I feel like I understand much better now. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Valerie Cooledge
5.0 out of 5 stars this book helped me better understand both my son and myself
Entertaining and insightful; this book helped me better understand both my son and myself.
Published 7 days ago by 4 Peas
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, Enlightening and Humorous
Not thrilling or exciting. Just a thoughtful and insightful glance into the struggles of marriage for someone with a "condition". Read more
Published 9 days ago by Suisa
5.0 out of 5 stars his happiest, his most painful
I have not yet finished this book, so I will not attempt to write a full review. I am about two thirds through it. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Richard Blackmore
4.0 out of 5 stars I really liked this book
I really liked this book. The author tried very hard to improve his marriage and coupled with a very understanding and mostly patient wife, it worked out. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Joanie B.
4.0 out of 5 stars I use these books as a handout for my patients ...
I use these books as a handout for my patients. They were quite effective when I clearly pointed out what techniques I wanted them to use. And reviewed the techniques with them. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Larry Harper
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
the author might have aspergers but he definitely doesn't lack emotional intelligence.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars I am very impressed with David Finch's uniqueness and his ...
I am very impressed with David Finch's uniqueness and his efforts to make it possible for his family to live with him. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sally G. Perry
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely recommend
Extremely helpful and had plenty of "a ha" moments.
Published 1 month ago by Karl
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, informative and inspirational.
Excellent read. Some take away's for all who wish to communicate better.
Published 1 month ago by Snow Empress
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More About the Author

David Finch grew up on a farm in northern Illinois. He earned a degree in music engineering at the University of Miami, where he stunned the locals with his gleaming, pasty white skin, then returned to Illinois, where he worked as an audio engineer and studied sketch-comedy writing at the Second City in Chicago. He and his wife, Kristen, married in 2003, and in 2008, David was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. His essay "Somewhere Inside, A Path To Empathy" appeared in The New York Times and became the basis for his first book, The Journal of Best Practices. His essays have appeared in The New York Times, Slate, and Psychology Today. David lives in northern Illinois with Kristen and their two children.

More information about booking David for lectures and other private appearances, including book clubs, can be found on his website:

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