Book Review of, "100 Things To Do In San Antonio Before You Die"
Posted: Nov 17th, 2016
One Hundred Things to do in San Antonio Before You Die
By Denise Richter
Reedy Press, $9.99
132 pps 2016
Reviewed by Diane Lerma
Are the kids bored at home? Are you single and interested in exploring new places to impress someone special? Are you perhaps new to San Antonio and do not know the difference between a mariachi and margarita? If so, read on. There is a delightful new book that provides residents and tourists with an adventurous, cultural, and culinary perspective of our unique city. Beloved educator, Denise Richter, has a gem of book for visitors and residents alike. In her new book, One Hundred Things to do in San Antonio Before You Die, the author provides readers with an engaging “must-do” bucket list to accomplish in our colorful city. At one hundred and thirty-two pages, it is quite manageable to consume and a fun read.
Richter did it right. The book is arranged in a user-friendly format by category that is worthy of any reliable reference guide such as, Culture and History, Food and Drink, Music and Entertainment, to name a few. Any decent tour guide in this city should include this helpful resource in his or her repertoire. Richter’s love for our community is evident throughout – replete with intermittent terms of endearment in Spanish like, ꜟDisfrute! and familia which set a fun and friendly tone. Richter includes contact information for each recommendation with a hint of humor. A good example is her commentary describing Christmas on the Riverwalk as magical that “can even put the Grinch in a good mood.” (3)
Even this native San Antonian learned something new. For instance, the one hundred year plus sanctuary at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church is known for its choir and spiritual energy and is not to be missed. (7) Unbeknownst to me, VIA has a #7 Sightseer Special that I’ll be taking with my own special out of town guests. Without revealing too much more, something else I was unaware of is the term locavore. A locavore is someone who consumes locally grown food within a one hundred-mile radius from where it is purchased. (69) For your pleasure, Richter includes a respectable list of trendy restaurants in our area that cater to such epicureans.
One aspect of Richter’s work that would have added another dimension are color photos. So strikingly mouth-watering are the pics found on page fifty where foodies may find themselves entranced with a delectable display of tacos al pastor smothered with queso, cilantro and onions. Conversely, Richter provides a cross-sectional balance of our city in which to explore. To that end, the author is thoughtful to include a list of suggested itineraries for potential adventure seekers who may be organizationally challenged.
For those of us who are native San Antonians and desire to get reacquainted with our city, or perhaps you’re a newcomer, get a copy of One Hundred Things to do in San Antonio Before You Die for your coffee table or as a gift. My sister-in-law and her family relocated to San Antonio from Houston recently. I cannot think of a more welcoming gift to make her feel like she chose the right city to call home. ꜟBienvenidos!
Diane Lerma is a writer and Assistant Professor of Education at Palo Alto College