The Journal of Best Practices

  • by David Finch
  • Narrated by David Finch
  • 6 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

I wish I had read this many years ago

My kids are now grown and I missed most of it. I was there, but I was almost never really present. I have Asperger Syndrome (self-diagnosed), but not nearly as far on the spectrum as the author. My wife always tried to tell me how much trouble I was causing for everyone and how frustrated she was with me, but It always felt like an attack, and naturally I went into defense mode. After all, I was doing very well at work and bringing home lots of money.

I'm now divorced and alone and would give everything I have for a chance to do it over again. If only I had heard another dad talk about it in this way, I may have swallowed my pride, put down my defenses and stepped up be the dad every kid deserves and the husband every wife deserves. By hearing someone else talk about and even laugh at themselves, it made it much easier for me to see these behaviors through someone else's eyes (while not being attacked).

If there's even a chance you have AS (if you happen to be a software engineer, there's a very good chance) and you have kids or plan to have kids, then you MUST listen to this book.

I don't think anyone could have read it better than the author, who is very funny. He does great voices.

If you are a guy and you are married, I think it's very unlikely you are lucky enough to have found someone like Kirsten. Even so, there are several good ideas in here about how to change yourself.
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- Patrick

Can you fold laundry?

Any additional comments?

Wonderfully real (especially... if you might be an Aspie). Mr. Finch's stories are touching, humorous, sad, enlightening and heartfelt. As an Aspie myself, I found this audio to be a goldmine of insights into behaviors of those on the spectrum, and the relational challenges which accompany the syndrome. The Author relates, with moving and witty examples, just how some of the relational challenges affected his neuro-typical loved ones and acquaintances, his path to realization (with the help of his loving Wife) of how different Aspie perspectives are, and offers practices which helped him mitigate the effects. For me, helped make sense of many of my life experiences and presented some practical ways to adjust my view and actions for the benefit of loved ones. Great listen.

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- Tom Gunsmoke

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-11-2012
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio