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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
by David Finch

Overview - 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.  Read more...

 
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More About The Journal of Best Practices by David Finch
 
 
 
Overview
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, 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.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781439189719
  • ISBN-10: 1439189714
  • Publisher: Scribner Book Company
  • Publish Date: January 2012
  • Page Count: 224


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2011-09-19
  • Reviewer: Staff

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. (Jan.)

 
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