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.
Few people would consider the moment they are diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome as a positive moment in their life, but for Finch it was a blessing in disguise. At the point he found out about his condition, which he describes as "a relatively mild form of autism," his five-year marriage to his wife, Kristen, was crumbling under the weight of his idiosyncrasies ("lining certain items up," "lightly touching objects in a particular way," needing "things to go as planned") that controlled Finch's daily life and made it impossible for him to be the type of father and husband he or his family wanted him to be. But after gaining an understanding of what he needed to "overcome," Finch, who wrote a well-received article for the New York Times about his disorder, begins the long process of learning how to manage the "egocentricity" and "relationship-defeating behaviors" associated with Asperger's. Finch's main weapon in his fight against his own brain is what he calls "The Journal of Best Practices," a notebook in which he keeps track of concepts, hints, lessons, and reflections that help him deal with and even conquer the manifestations of his disorder. In relating his story, Finch is compellingly honest, a trait that works well with his self-deprecating humor. There are points when the "best practices" are repetitive, but of course that is the nature of Asperger's syndrome, and Finch's ability to put his experiences on paper will no doubt help more people and families understand this oft-misunderstood disorder.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The Journal of best practices
This very funny and insightful book was introduced to me by a client. I am a therapist and this client was a couple struggling with a husband with Asperger's syndrome. They gained insight into their relationship and improved their communication just by practicing the "best practices" of this book.
Funny, insightful. Funniest part: roommate descriptions. Brilliant. Most useful for me, the insight into egocentrism and insistence on familiarity. Thanks for the peek inside your head. It will help me with my son.
Great insight on a puzzle
I'm a teacher. I have been blessed with several Aspergians over my career. I find 99% to be genuine, loving, children incapable of telling a lie who strive for acceptance of others. This book made me laugh and cry. It also made me realize how much I love my marriage regardless of our quirks and spats. Kudos on a great book! Thanks to whatever magazine was featuring it that caught my eye at the doctors. I bought it while sitting in the waiting room. :-)