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VINE VOICEon October 20, 2011
Once again Ms. Smith has put together a book that can get anyone excited about books, writing and creating. I gave this to my 9-year old son who immediately proclaimed "this book is boring." I said nothing, left it on his table and within 24 hours I noticed he had taken a fervent interest in the book. Cutting the chase, after about a week, he had given up the quest to find some something-or-other in a video game to work on many of the "assignments" in this book. He was outside, in the house, on the Internet doing all kinds of sleuthing, investigating and researching. He wrote plenty about his findings (more than anything he's done in school) and applied a lot of the process to an upcoming class project (Hallelujah!!!! can you hear the bells ringing??). And I noticed he proudly took this book to school to show some of his friends what he's been doing. For an upcoming friend's birthday, he insisted this was what he wanted, and now there's a group of kids who are all over this book, creating their own manuals, guides, etc.

Please, oh please, Ms. Smith, do another one soon!!!
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on November 10, 2011
My business partner and I (both branding & creative consultants) became super fans of Keri Smith when we cracked open her book, Explorer of the World, while on a business trip to Atlanta. So when we came across Smith's Finish This Book while on another branding adventure in Lawrence, Kansas we knew we had to pick it up. We didn't quite realize the creative adventure this book would take us on as we road-tripped back home. My 11-year-old self would have flipped out over how cool Finish This Book is - okay who am I kidding, the creative professional I am today also flipped out (and learned a lot) over Smith's newest book.

Here's how it goes - on a dark and stormy night (the way all good stories begin) Keri Smith stumbles upon scattered pages from an abandoned instruction manual in a park. And now she is counting on you, the reader, to help her solve this mystery. Finish This Book is broken up into four interactive sections including Secret Intelligence Training, Documenting and Observing Methods, Artifact Examination Techniques and finally The Instruction Manual. You are instructed to complete an exercise on each page - it is up to you to populate Finish This Book with the necessary content in order for it to be a book at all.

What Keri Smith does with Finish This Book is give you permission (and resources) to be a creative problem solver while finding your own unique voice and creative authority. She facilitates a creative process that takes something huge - like writing a book - and breaks it down into small but powerful exercises. Smith holds you accountable and empowers you with the responsibility of making choices and putting them down on paper - so when you do get to the end you're not back-pedaling or doubting yourself. And when you turn the last page you've not only finished the book - you have become a creator in the process. Through a series of logical steps you have found your voice and you have written a story.

I can't tell you much more without spoiling the book. So I beg you - go out and buy it for yourself - or your creative department. And if you don't have the time (or courage) to finish it please - pass it on to a brave and curious 11-year-old you might know.
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on December 25, 2011
I would recommend this book to creative people who enjoy thinking, taking life at a strolling pace, and most importantly, ENJOY WRITING.

While I am sure this book is extremely fun to complete, it was not what I was hoping for. The book description promises that the reader/author will have the task of "solv[ing] the mystery of this unexpected discovery," but there isn't really a non-abstract, solvable mystery in this book. It is actually a collection of activities the book suggests the reader complete including doodling trees and observing an animal. This book is a well-organized collection of seemingly random "adventures" and is essentially a journal or diary but with instructions on every page telling you how to fill it out.

Examples of activities:
- "Create your own small imaginary world out of whatever you have lying around. Place it in a natural setting."
- "Read a book at your secret headquarters. Share a passage from the book. Rewrite it here."
- "Spend some time watching the sky. Document it in some way."

I believe that this book is a great creative outlet for people who naturally jot down their thoughts and write for fun. It would also make a good group book that you can pass among friends or complete with family. I was just disappointed because I was expecting some sort of puzzle.
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on September 27, 2011
I'm a big fan of Keri Smith's other books, Mess: Manual of Accidents and Mistakes and Wreck this Journal. Really I know I shouldn't have purchased this book without at least completing "Mess" but I couldn't help it. I was simply too curious about "The Mystery."

So far a major difference of "F*nish Th*s B**k" is that the assignments are not as open ended as the two books I just mentioned. The book must be finished IN ORDER, which means that since I just got the B**K today I have completed four missions or so. I can tell you guys that so far seems much more "story" based than either Mess or Wreck, and as a co-creator of "Finish" I am discovering its story and hunting down clues as a sleuth. I can only imagine what some of these prompts will be. However, I really can't tell you much more than this without possibly spoiling something and this book is all about the JOURNEY.

Perhaps it is a good thing Mrs. Smith is enforcing the rule that each page must be completed in order-- or give the book to someone else-- because maybe I won't find myself struggling to finish the last ten assignments in it like I am with Mess in particular. Well, more than ten. Mostly the ones with photography prompts or the "get your buddies to join in" prompts.

Why should you buy this book? 1. If you like her other books. 2. If you don't mind acting silly (I'm assuming!) 3. If you do not mind not knowing what is coming up 4. If you are curious and 5. want to stretch yourself a little mentally. Most of Mrs. Smith's books are about thinking outside the box. I'm assuming this book is rather the same in that regard. Don't worry about what art supplies you may need. The list is only about ten items long, much shorter than the suggested supply list in either Wreck or Mess, and uses common items found in most homes.

So if you'll excuse me I have to get my disguise, decoder ring, smoking pipe, and my deerstalker coat because there's a mystery afoot! I only own one of these things, by the way. Possibly two. I wouldn't put it past the author to sneak in a decoder ring somewhere in this book.
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on July 17, 2012
I picked up a copy of Keri Smith's "This is Not a Book" on a whim, at the grocery store and had so much fun with it, that I decided to check out more of her stuff. I found "Finish this Book" on amazon and decided to order it. This book is just plain fun! As I am not a very creative person and I really have no clue how to journal, Keri Smith's books really help me to see how fun it can be. I like that they are very generic yet if you decide to interact with them they become very personal. Also, because they start so generic, they are kid friendly. Each book gives you ideas on how to explore the world around you in such a great way. It really opens your eyes to the plain and boring things you overlook on an everyday basis.

It is summer break for the kids right now so I gave my (11 y/o) daughter a copy of each and she has been entertained with them everyday. She looks forward to writing in them, and it makes her daily treks so much easier to look forward to. Some/a lot of the instruction say "take a walk" or "on your walk," which we both appreciate because it makes getting out of the house and exercising, something to look forward to and enjoy verses something we have dreaded in the past. Plus, these books allows us some great bonding time and allows us to explore our community with fresh eyes!

We have not actually completed any of these books yet, but I suspect that it will be quite rewarding to look back and see how much we have done and watch the progress of our observational skills and writing skills. And it will also be a great book to pass on to future generations, so that they may learn more about us and perhaps be inspired to create their own.

I have decided to order everyone on my family/friends list a copy of her books for Christmas. I will wrap them and not tag them as I just want to give them randomly in hopes that the universe will get the right book to the person that will appreciate it most!
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on February 18, 2014
my grand daughter aged 11 absolutely adores the book and spends every momentvdoing it. She also gave a presentation at her school here in Australia and no one, including thr teacher, had heard of the series. So much better than tv or video games.
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on August 6, 2013
This book is a ton of fun, the only reason I gave it 4 out of 5 stars is because it is taking me a long time to do. It REALLY makes you think hard and it just takes a lot of time.

The ideas and thoughts expressed in the book are VERY new and by no means boring. No for kids I would have to say only because it is hard. I guess if you have a really smart kid that knows how to write and write well they would love this. But mostly Id say that high schoolers and up would like this book much more.

Hope this helps.
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on April 19, 2013
keri smith is just plain amazing. got her WTJ and now im exploring more of her work. if you like mystery books and always wanted to be on of those characters this is the book for you! dont think too much and just have fun!!
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on December 25, 2012
Out of all of Keri Smith's books, this is my least favourite one. I feel like this book is more of a 'job' than the others are - they are mindless fun as opposed to this one which requires a lot of time & effort. If you are really into detectives and mysteries you might like this but I'd still recommend Wreck This Journal, Mess, This Is Not A Book, How to be an Explorer of the World or the Guerrilla Art Kit over this.
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on February 25, 2012
I purchased this book for my mum as a birthday gift. She loves it. I gave it to her yesterday and she is already sending me text messages saying that she is having a blast and she wants me to help her on specific parts so she can go do more! I am so happy for this since I was a little worried because my mum just turned 49!
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