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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

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3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,863 Ratings  ·  847 Reviews
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 ...more
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Published April 9th 2012 by Tantor Media (first published January 1st 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
If you're a married woman reading about David Finch's behaviors, you may begin to wonder if your own husband has Asperger syndrome. As Dave Barry notes on the book jacket, a lot of what David was doing and not doing falls in the category of "acting like a guy." But for an Aspie guy the cluelessness is genuine, and absolutely everything must be spelled out for him.

Finch was married for five years before he got his diagnosis. After that, he set out to become the best possible husband he could be.
...more
Ciara
arguably the most exciting thing about this book, for me, is that it's a memoir by a guy who diagnosed himself with asperger's syndrome using an internet quiz. this is something i joke about all the time! i used to be a member of this online feminist community, & one of the most annoying members in the community had diagnosed herself with asperger's using an internet quiz. every time she got called out for saying something stupid, she was always like, "stop being mean! the internet says i'm ...more
willaful
One of the big surprises of learning that someone you love has Aspergers Syndrome is realizing that the “robotic” stereotypes are often misleading, and that Aspies are just as likely to be funny, creative, engaging and loving. In this memoir, Aspie David Finch shows himself to be all of those things -- but he’s also extremely anxious, inflexible, unempathetic and uncommunicative, and all of those issues have severely impacted his marriage and family life. This insightful, touching and amusing bo ...more
Lindsay
I heard the author of this book and his wife on This American Life a couple of weeks ago and then by chance my mom sent me this book. Listening to the interview was strange because in it David Finch sounds so normal and comfortable. He actually sounds more normal and comfortable than I would sound on air, so I kept thinking: Really? Does this guy really have Asperger's or is he just kinda quirky?

The first part of the book reconfirmed this notion for me. He describes his failing marriage and how
...more
Maryrose
Feb 13, 2012 Maryrose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an excellent book. As the mother of a son recently diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, I have found myself consumed by the following:

1. Learning how to correctly spell Asperger's without having to look it up;
2. Learn more about the syndrome and finding strategies and best practices to help my son thrive in the demands of a neurotypical world.

David Finch proves himself to be a very likeable subject and I found myself rooting for him, and could easily see my son in parts of Finch.

While I
...more
Megan
Jan 29, 2013 Megan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up from the Library's readers choice section. It seems that the past several readers choice lists have had one book that addressed autism/aspergers: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Rules, The Kitchen Daughter (to name a few).

Every time I've picked one up and wondered if the subject has been overdone, but every time I've been pleasantly surprised to find the book had a new, fresh take on a disorder that has many different levels and forms.

Until now.

David Finch i
...more
James
Oct 24, 2011 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ok - the only thing that comes to mind is the possibility that David Finch has been living in my head, and my house, and following me around, with ESP writing a book about me but acting like it was about him.

This book was close to perfect - but I don't know if it's for everyone.

This book, is, well, why I don't like most fiction - I get into arguments with a friend of mine who teaches college english about the virtue of reading fiction - and what I strongly dislike is that nothing in the charact
...more
Heather
Jul 22, 2012 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the best book I have read about Asperger syndrome, and I have read a lot. Though it is just one person's story, not a how-to manual, I gained a lot about ways that might help me be more effective in helping individuals with Asperger syndrome, both in my job as an SLP, and as a mother of one.

David's personal journey through trying to acknowledge his weaknesses and move beyond them was admittedly at times tedious to read. Well before his wife told him to stop with the best practices, I was
...more
Ann
Jan 04, 2012 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Because I live with an ASD person I recognized so many of the thoughts recorded in this "Journal". Some of them made me laugh out loud. Anyone who is married should read this, anyone who knows someone with ASD or is related to someone with ASD should read this. Keep in mind this is one man's ASD. I would like a qualifier at the beginning of any book that touches on the subject of autism - it is a spectrum - therefore this may be sort of like the person you know with a similar diagnosis. You may ...more
Carrie Straka
David Finch has Asperger Syndrome. What’s interesting is that he’s not diagnosed until he’s 30 years old and married for five years. When he’s diagnosed, he and his wife finally have the answers of why he’s the way he is. He describes the news as a relief, because he now knows what causes his odd behavior, outbursts, and other quirks. The Journal of Best Practices came about through Finch’s note taking and journal writing. He is on a constant quest to improve himself. His notes include “Don’t ch ...more
erin
Dec 19, 2012 erin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First off, this is not the definitive book on adults with Asperger Syndrome. It claims to be a memoir, and it truly is. David Finch was diagnosed with Asperger's when he was 30, and his diagnosis made him assess his life in a way that started him on a journey of self-improvement. I don't share Finch's sense of humor, nor do I agree with his ideas on what men and women should or shouldn't do for a family, but I don't have to. Since this is a memoir, it is a slice of one man's life.

I think that th
...more
Sheri
Dec 22, 2012 Sheri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
So I need to start this by saying that for years I have told my husband that I have a mild form of autism/Asperger's. As a grad student in social psychology I read Temple Grandin's Thinking in Pictures, and I realized that I could very much relate to her way of not relating to other people. He (my husband) picked this book up a week or so ago at the library and has been waving it around the house chuckling while reading it and commenting that he agrees, but if this guy (meaning Dave Finch) is a ...more
Spider the Doof Warrior
This short little book was good, but I can't help but be a bit biased because I got diagnosed as being on the spectrum myself so I can related to David Finch about parties, socializing and things like that. I am not fond of that stuff. I hanging out with people I'm comfortable with but I love reading in bed at home listening to music and doing my thing.

Which makes me wonder if it's a good idea to get married since I like collecting live spiders and so many people hate them for some reason.

I lik
...more
James Swenson
Feb 12, 2013 James Swenson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
David and Kristen's marriage is falling apart, after only a few years. Neither them is quite the spouse that the other believed they would be. One reason for this, they discover, is that David has Asperger's syndrome.

The diagnosis is a revelation. David writes:

I was not upset. I was not conflicted. The knowledge felt amazing. It was cathartic. And it made perfect sense. Of course! Here were answers, handed to me so easily, to almost every difficult question I'd had since childhood: Why is it so
...more
Lauren
Mar 02, 2012 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
At the age of 30, David Finch was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. The diagnosis enabled he and his wife to confront the problems in their marriage and start fresh, and Mr. Finch chronicles that transformation in this memoir. I won this book through Goodreads, and I started off really, really liking it. Mr. Finch’s use of notes (or “best practices”) to remember what is and is not acceptable behavior is funny and applicable to everyone (My favorite? “Apologies do not count when you shout them.”) ...more
Dan
Mar 19, 2013 Dan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
A couple of months ago, I picked up this book on a whim. A blogger I like recommended it as a good read, and it was about writing things down to solve problems, which meshed well with the fact that I was on one of my periodic rampages trying to organize my life. Once I started it, I read it in a single session, then again the next day. Because for better or for worse, I saw myself in almost everything he wrote.

Damn, I thought. That guy’s a good writer. He really makes you feel what it’s like to
...more
Anna Penner
Oct 01, 2012 Anna Penner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was hilarious. It isn't even a tiny bit surprising that David Finch used to write comedy sketches, based on the sheer amount of humour that is packed into this not very long book. I mean, in what other Asperger Syndrome book would you find a quote like this, "Engaging the social world without empathy is like going to the mall without any money or pants on; it can be done, but you're bound to have problems."?

The humour makes it an easy read, as do the non-judgemental portrayals of all o
...more
Jonathan Karmel
Here's a passage I liked: "Being alone . . . I can enter the world of the mind. . . . It's not a lonely state. . . . But there's a different side of loneliness. . . . I see this side of loneliness when I'm out with a group of people without a prayer of being able to relate to any of them. . . . Worse than not fitting in, however, is finding someone you like and annoying them. This is part of the Asperger's package - our exuberance around people we like sometimes pushes them away. Ironic."

The aut
...more
Allison
The subtitle says it all. Finch writes a lovely memoir that is at turns poignant and heartfelt or laugh-out-loud funny. He doesn't set out to give the reader the best practices for all marriages, but in telling the story of his own, the reader will find aspects that resonate or prompt further thought.

I'd recommend this book (or audiobook - it's read well by the author) and even though, from what I could tell, the author isn't a Christian, I'd include this in my collection of marriage-advice book
...more
Christine
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book via a FirstReads giveaway on Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.

I first heard about this book from an article in Oprah Magazine. To be honest, I thought it sounded interesting, but I didn't really think I would go out and buy it. Borrow it from the library maybe, but not buy it. A short while later, I happened to notice it was being offered as a FirstReads giveaway on Goodreads and thought, why not enter? Before I knew it, I got an email te
...more
Jane
I found this topic to be very interesting. After being married for five years, David Finch is diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. Instead of taking the easy way out and using his Asperger Syndrome as an excuse for his difficult behavior, he dedicates himself to becoming a better husband. He creates a journal to help him with specific behaviors that will improve his relationship with his wife. While it is clear that he does in fact have Asperger Syndrome and gives many examples of ways that he is i ...more
Jaclyn Day
Jan 02, 2013 Jaclyn Day rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Guys, this book. It is just so fantastic. It begins with Finch’s wife sitting him down and going through an Asperger questionnaire after she suspects he may have it. Five years after they marry, they confirm his diagnosis and thus begins their mutual adventure into discovering each other all over again. Finch, in his attempt to be a better husband, creates a Journal of Best Practices. These range from the day-to-day (“Laundry: Better to fold and put away than to take only what you need from the ...more
Melissa T
Oct 16, 2012 Melissa T rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In case you are thinking, "Does Roger have Asperger's?"; no, I don't think he does. That's not why I chose this book, I am just interested in learning more about this increasingly common syndrome, and this seemed like an informative way to do so, without being too bogged down in clinical details. (I just want the summary, not all the details! I am an impatient learner!)

So, my review. I may have given this 5 stars, except for one tiny detail. Profanity. I cannot stand reading profanity. For a maj
...more
Kris Munson
Aug 11, 2013 Kris Munson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think David Finch has done a heck of a job writing a book about the trials and tribulations of being married to someone w/Asperger tendencies, and how to turn things around and make the marriage work.

I am the mother of a senior in high school who is on the spectrum -- and had a father who was VERY MUCH like David Finch. Now, I've known numerous people with asperger's, and Mr. Finch seems to be fairly high up on the spectrum. The characteristics that he DOES have are a fairly big deal, to be su
...more
Anita
Jul 09, 2016 Anita rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction-read
This is really 3.5 stars. On one level it is an amusing tale of navigating life in a world of neurotypicals. On another it is an inspirational tale of the ability to change for love. When David is diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome (one of the very funny parts of the book), rather than say "That's just the way I am." He decides to work on it and become the best husband he can be. Who wouldn't want to be married to someone like that?

Throughout this book I remembered a story my mother told me many y
...more
Leta Blake
Dec 21, 2015 Leta Blake rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Easy read, humorous, and basically nails it in terms of living with someone on the autism scale. I recognized a lot in this book.
Erin
Jun 15, 2016 Erin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book should be a mandatory read for anyone married for any length of time. The author is hilarious and it really helps us all increase our empathy.

Of course we are all going to suspect our husband's are on the spectrum now!
Susan
Mar 08, 2015 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: just-ok
This was an interesting if not compelling story. The writer is an adult man who self-diagnoses himself with Asperger's Syndrome with his speech and language therapist wife. He is married and the father of two toddlers.

The gist of the story is that he uses his cognitive self to 'practice' having empathy, being in the moment, listening to others, taking initiative at home, going to parties and events, and eventually learning to enjoy being with his children. In fact, he practically used Cognitiv
...more
Stephen
Jan 03, 2015 Stephen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Hilarious. This is a How-To guide for every dude, no matter what DSM-spectrum we might fall under (and believe me, if you’ve read the DSM-5, everyone has the potential to be “diagnosed” with something). Deep self-awareness is the most powerful skill one can possess. The second, of course, is empathy. Finch does an outstanding job of sharing his path to self-awareness, and his wife, Kristin, deserves sainthood.
Joni
This book was incredibly unique and powerful in its perspective. We rarely are able to hear about autism from the perspective of the person who has the disorder, and especially not in such a relatable way. In fact, it was SO clear and easy to read, that I found myself disbelieving that it was actually written solely by Mr. Finch. I found it hard to believe that he was able to express his wife's perspective with what seemed like such deep understanding, while openly confessing his original lack o ...more
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“The greatest thing a man can do for himself is to marry someone who is infinitely better than he is. And that's exactly what I did.” 4 likes
“I’m saying Mary’s an ideal homemaker,” I said. “But I’m not asking you to become a domestic goddess—that’s not my point. My point is that I don’t want to expect that from you anymore. I’m trying to change myself here, not you. Tonight was just a setback.” “Whatever,” Kristen said, leaning in for a kiss. “It’s fine. Good night.” 1 likes
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