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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 Hardcover – January 3, 2012


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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 + Alone Together: Making an Asperger Marriage Work + The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (January 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439189714
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439189719
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (254 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #222,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“David Finch has Asperger Syndrome – a disorder that, in some ways, means ‘acting like a guy.’ His often-hilarious efforts to understand and cope with his condition will resonate with every guy whose wife has ever asked him, ‘What the hell were you THINKING?’”
--Dave Barry, author of I'll Mature When I'm Dead: Dave Barry's Amazing Tales of Adulthood

“I loved The Journal of Best Practices by fellow Aspergian David Finch. This book perfectly captures the essence of succeeding at married life from the perspective of an Aspergian male. If you're in an AS-NT relationship—or any relationship--you absolutely must read this book! It's an upbeat and refreshing change.”
–John Elder Robison, author of Look Me In the Eye

“Hilarious. Gives some of the finest explications of Asperger’s out there… a primer of sorts for all of us on how to be better partners.”

--People Magazine, 4-star review

“What makes the book compelling is how funny Mr. Finch is about himself. He’s great company.”

--The New York Times

“Extremely amusing and compelling…This poignant memoir is a great read for those with Asperger Syndrome and the neurotypical alike.”

--Shelf Awareness

"A remarkable love story and a fascinating account of how two people saved a marriage."
--Columbus Dispatch

"Funny, moving and insightful."
--Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

David Finch grew up on a farm in northern Illinois and attended the University of Miami, where he studied Music Engineering Technology. In 2008 he was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. His essay, “Somewhere Inside, a Path to Empathy” appeared in The New York Times and became the basis for this book. David lives in northern Illinois with his wife Kristen and two children and is still a total nerd.

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: www.davidfinchwriter.com

Customer Reviews

This was well written and an easy read.
Pocahontas 1
I recommend this book for anyone who has Asberger, who loves someone who has Asberger. or just wants to read a good book about the love that can overcome a challenge.
John
Insightful, very well written, humorous, real life, not sensational also good love story Thank you very much.
Elizabeth J. Rice

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

119 of 123 people found the following review helpful By O. Brown HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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66 of 70 people found the following review helpful By BookLover on January 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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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58 of 64 people found the following review helpful By A. Lamas on January 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Sherri on February 25, 2012
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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