Friday, February 17, 2017

Book Review: The Journal of Best Practices by David Finch

Title:  The Journal of Best Practices
Author:  David Finch
Genre:  Relationships
Publisher: Scribner
Release Date:  October 9, 2012

From the Back Cover:

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.

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

My Review:

Reading 'The Journal of Best Practices' made me wonder how many women notice similarities between their own husband's behavior and that of a man diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome.  How many men put the empty cereal box back in the pantry?  And how many men dig through the dryer to find one item without taking the initiative to just fold all of the clothes in there and put them away?  How many men have to ask their wives numerous questions when trying to perform a relatively simple task such as getting the kids ready for school?

I didn't know much about AS prior to reading this book, and I found it to be a real eye opener.  With so many little idiosyncrasies though, I am hoping that readers get an official diagnosis and not just assume that their spouse has AS because he takes an hour long shower or has a difficult time in social settings. 

The Journal of Best Practices is a humorous approach to one man's quest to be a better husband.  I found this to be an admirable quality, especially when we understood the difficulties he endured with this neurotypical disorder.  As I read, I kept wondering if my own husband would put forth that much effort.  In a sense, this was a true love story and a well written memoir.

My Rating:

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:


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