Book Review | “100 Things to Do in Texas Before You Die”

Review by Leah Cooper81w3NmVoyKL

Last June Jefferson Carnegie Library began sponsoring the weekly book review and accompanying Word Search puzzle.

One of the first books we reviewed was Texas Far and Wide by E. R. Bills, a collection of unusual tales of Texas. It was quite a surprise a few months later to receive an email from the author, who had seen our review.

He had a new book coming out that included a piece about Jefferson and wondered if we would be interested in having him speak at the library. Of course we said yes!

And a week from now – Thursday, February 21 at 6:00 pm, E. R. Bills will be regaling us with stories of 100 Things to Do in Texas Before You Die.

I know you won’t be surprised to learn that several of the 100 Things are pretty close to home: No. 18 – See Jefferson. Number 27 – Get Lost on Caddo Lake. No. 36 – Greet Autumn at Daingerfield State Park. No. 59 – Explore Gushers at the East Texas Oil Museum.

Some of the 100 Things are well-known. We all know the book wouldn’t be complete without No. 48 – Visit the Alamo. But the History and Culture section also includes No. 60 – Fence Yourself in at the Devil’s Rope Museum. Amusements and Entertainment range from No. 1 – Explore the San Antonio Riverwalk to No. 24 – Buy the Perfect Texas Souvenir.

Parks and Recreation entice us to explore places large (No. 25 – Experience a Big Bend State of Mind) and small (No. 38 – Debate the Ezekiel Flying Machine); strenuous (No. 40 – Endure the Hotter Than Hell 100) or relaxing (No. 41 – Bask in the Sun at South Padre Island).

No visit through Texas is complete without Food and Drink, including No. 69 – Explore Your Tex-Mex Roots, No. 70 – Experience BBQ Nirvana, and No. 71 – Eat Some Chicken-Fried Steak (It’s the Law).

Road Trips range from general categories (No. 81 – Stay in a Small Town) to specific destinations (No. 89 – Lemon Jefferson Memorial Cemetery to see the final resting place of its namesake blues legend). And no trip is complete without good Photo Ops, whether spectacular (No. 91 Balanced Rock at Big Bend) or detailed (No. 90 – the boot-wearing Cowboy Christ grave site statue near Paris).

This is a fun book to read, but also one I plan to take on road trips so I can check off more of this bucket list. You can start checking off your own list by coming to the wine and cheese reception for E. R. Bills on Thursday, February 21 at 6 P.M., upstairs at Jefferson Carnegie Library, one of the specific locations described in No. 18 – See Jefferson.

Tune in to KMHT Radio Marshall on 103.9 that morning at 8:30 A.M. when E. R. is featured on The Talk of East Texas. No charge to attend; books will be available for purchase and signing by the author. Hope to see you there!

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