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52 Projects: Random Acts of Everyday Creativity

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  428 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Discover the art of your life and inspire your next creative endeavor. 52 Projects is an eclectic collection of offbeat, exploratory, artistic projects that will trigger your imagination, invigorate your creativity, and help you to discover or rediscover your muses. The personal exploration of project-making that it fosters will inspire you to dream up, set to work on, and ...more
Kindle Edition, 116 pages
Published October 8th 2020 (first published November 1st 2005)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  428 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Sep 12, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: myself in ninth grade
Shelves: 2007
Some of it was okay, but a lot of the "project" ideas were without regard to the boundaries of other people. Snapshots of sleeping lovers and friends, taping a conversation and then sending it to the person you were speaking with years later... hmm. I suppose it's up to the project maker to decide where to take something, though.

Some of the projects seemed straight from a beginning writer's workshop and didn't seem sparkling or creative enough to warrant inclusion in yet another book.

Overall, t
Dec 03, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Eh. I felt like it was the same type of project over and over. There were a couple that I thought were good but weren't really productive. His projects were more for the college boy with ADD who has too much time on his hands, not so much for the mother of 3 who wants to use her creative time for something useful.

I did like what he wrote about everyone being able to be creative as well as his chapter on giving projects as gifts.
Aug 04, 2021 rated it it was ok
*I won this book through Goodreads Giveaways, and received the copy for free. The review, however, is based on my own unbiased opinion.

I was highly disappointed in this book. I had high hopes. Even the intro where he talked about creativity and the drive that it gives him...I could relate to that. I could see myself in his night time obsessions with whatever he was creating, and the issues of keeping notebooks filled with ideas. I understood the notes that he shared with a friend during classes
I loved this book, and the fact that the author gets it that creativity comes in many forms, including creating goodies in the kitchen! I sometimes beat myself up that I'm not achieving bigger goals creatively and this book reminded me that as long as I'm creating, it could be just a small project that lasts an hour. It doesn't have to be some colossal thing. I sometimes make it more difficult than it has to be. (The down side to a Type A personality I guess...) At any rate, I love all the ideas ...more
Crystan M.
A quick read about creativity and how it can benefit your life and be shared with others. As the title implies, the author does describe 52 creative projects. These projects are not there for you to follow down the line but more of an inspiration to consider different ways to be creative. It was an interesting read and made me want to find a project of my own.
Aug 08, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-books, nonfic, 2021-read
Received this from Goodreads Giveaways.

I feel like this was a good concept but not what I was expecting. It might work better for someone else, but I guess I was hoping for like art projects or writing projects.
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I support being creative and productive, but most of these projects felt like homework instead of fun.
Dec 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
WONDERFUL ideas ranging from short & easy to somewhat complicated, but all worth considering.
Aug 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was short & had some good ideas but it was oddly focused on drinking.
Nov 04, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club-2
My assignment for book club was to read this book and pick a project to do. I have to report on my project at book club. I have it narrowed down to 2 projects:

No. 1: Get copies of letters you and a friend wrote to each other; make copies of the letters and mail them to your friend. I would like to do this project - I just don't even know where to begin looking for the letters I would like to use.

No. 40: Put together a collection of pictures from every home/place you have ever lived. Obviously,
Oct 10, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I picked this up at 2nd & Charles because when I flipped through there were a few ideas that intrigued me (go to and you can see all the ideas that are in the book). It is more than just the projects listed though...there are a few fun projects listed near the page numbers (page 80 - plan a picnic for the first day it reaches 80 deg), and there are some essays on projects - what they can do for you. The best idea was to not let them fall away -- finish your projects. Even a fa ...more
Amy Brown
Jan 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crafty-books
Just picked up this little gem from the library...loving it! I think I may need to buy it! The projects are interesting, it's not so much as a creativity challenge, but an idea to spark a project! One I just looked at was: Make your house into an art gallery (invite some friends). blow up your photos, buy some original art, make some art, whatever! I started to get all kinds of ideas when I read that...check this one out for sure. Haven't been to the website yet, but he has a few tied to this bo ...more
Sarah Key
Sep 16, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
"Project #39: Go some place, alone. Once you are there, take a picture of yourself using the self-timer. Immediately after taking the picture, leave, and never go back to that place again. Ever." - Strangely enough, this seems like a pretty liberating idea to me. Just as shaving off all of my hair seems like it would be liberating as well. Eh, this alternative sounds less dangerous. We'll go with that. (I cannot be trusted with sharp objects.)

If you want to read the 52 projects without having to
Jun 03, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007
Do you like being creative? Do you have a bunch of unfinished projects laying around, collecting dust? Do you have a project in mind, but just don't know how to begin? If so, this is the right book to get you moving. Besides listing 52 different fun projects to get you motivated, the author talks about his own love of being creative. Best of all, he assures us that it's okay to mess up - it's all part of the process. ...more
Oct 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this slim little book about making and doing - and why we make and do. He takes the idea of projects far beyond the usual craftiness, encouraging the reader to try new things, make memories, and give back while fueling your own creativity and engagement with yourself, your loved ones, and the world. I would like to give this book as a Christmas present to all of my loved ones - or at least those that are inclined toward self-reflection.
Jan Polep
Jan 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OOOOOh...what a choice this would be for "One Book, One Community". Participants could report back on projects and/or choose one to do as a community. Okay, some of these projects are a little too wild but many are just what I needed to push me over the edge into actively spicing up my life, my libraries, and the lives of my friends and family. So, beware. No spoiler alerts..want you to discover the projects for yourself. I'm buying my own copy of this one. ...more
Apr 14, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the book as he talked about having creativity in your life, giving up TV to have time to create, etc. But the projects left much to be desired. OK, a couple projects were interesting but most of them - ah,no. One project suggested that you find letters friends had written to you, make copies and then send the letters back to your friend.
Giselle Scotdeerie
Jan 01, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crapfest
I'm not sure that going somewhere for the first time, taking your photo there and then NEVER GOING BACK THERE AGAIN is my idea of creative. Oh, wait, I *am* sure --- it's NOT. If there's a reason for this, I missed it. Sounds stupid, not creative, to me. You lost me there and I never came back. Oh, wait, I guess this is one place I really won't be revisiting. ...more
Emily Von pfahl
I really liked this book! It had lots of great ideas to inspire creativity without making you feel like you had to do them exactly as written, or that you need tons of equipment or really advanced skills. I just wish he had spent less time writing about why projects are important. Preaching to the choir!
Rebecca V.Y
Sep 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Very inspirational selection of projects, it seems there is something for everyone. I have completed and enjoyed many of these projects, and from them I have thought up my own projects to complete too. I loved it and often re-read it to get more ideas for future projects.
Nov 05, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction

I really, really like the concept of this book. Right up my alley, even if not all the projects Yamaguchi suggests are ones I care to tackle. Many of them are, though, and I am definitely inspired to make this approach to creativity a more formal part of my routine : )
Jan 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a treasure trove of ideas and inspiration! Not just for crafters or artists, but anyone who is interested in exploring their inner world, journaling their lives, viewing the world in a new way. Awesome book!
Nov 06, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People Looking for a Project
Recommended to Alissa by: Tracy
I read this for one of my book clubs and did 1 of the projects. It does have some great project ideas, some being self discovery-ish while others are quite narcisstic, but a lot of them are a bit cheezy. My husband and I got a lot of good laughs reading some of the project ideas aloud.
Sep 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First read: November 12, 2010. I bought a copy to read it again! This time around, I have seen Ikiru and read Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way (many times). My ideas flowed and I have a hefty list of project ideas written down in my Commonplace Book - another project. Whoop! ...more
Jennifer Vandenberg
This is a wonderful book to get your creative juices flowing. His ideas are simply jumping-off ideas. You will find yourself coming up with something unique. Whenever I feel blah I look through this book and my mind starts churning again.
May 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book for igniting creativity and an alternative to other common forms of entertainment (i.e. television). I just wish that more random acts included. Admittedly, I refer to this book often for ideas on creative things to do.
Miss Lemon
Jun 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Total fun. Started as a on-line share ideas sort of thing and morphed into this book. Some fun and some strange ways to explore your creative and wacky side. Might be a good book to look through to find fun mini-projects for your class.
Jul 24, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My friend Jeff wrote this book. It's a good starting point if your creative juices need a little stir. ...more
Nov 13, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Premise = very good, still processing the ideas behind it, how to apply.

Examples = ridiculous. Really, mailing alcohol? Illegal, not particularly creative.
Jan 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great creative inspiration!
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At the age of 26, Jeffrey Yamaguchi quit his job, threw himself a retirement party, and believed that he could make a living publishing zines. It didn’t work out, but he continues to dream the dream. Jeffrey’s books include 52 Projects, Working for the Man, Anya Chases Down the End, and Body of Water. His stories, poems, photography, and short films have been published in many literary journals, i ...more

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