Samantha Crespo is a Memphian, an accomplished writer, and an I Love Memphis blog contributor, and she generously gave me a copy of her new book (like, brand-spanking-new) today. I sat down and read almost all of it.
Her book is called "100 Things To Do in Memphis Before You Die" and it's part bucket list, part love letter to Memphis, and part visitor guide. As she says in her introduction, "my desire is to understand a place and ultimately, intimately, get to know it…that doesn't mean I shun the obvious attractions; it means I mix them in with spots the locals let me in on."
In addition to writing fun-to-read slick prose about 100 things to do in Memphis, Samantha was also very kind to list I Love Memphis as a resource in her book. I took a preliminary count and I'm proud to say I've done nearly 70 of the 100 things she suggests. (A few of the things, like "Tour Stax With A Memphis Horn" I counted even though I've only toured the museum, not on the private tour like she went on and wrote about here and in her book.)
Of the things she listed that I had done, I think my favorites were #13 "Haunt Ernestine & Hazel's, #51 "Art Walk — South Main Historic District", and #92 "Contemplate…Karen Carrier's Restaurants and Bars".
Still on my list of things to do in Memphis before I die? Out of the 30 or so left, I think #10 "Toast to the Music — Old Millington Winery", #54 "Look Though Ernest Withers' Lens", and #60 "Feel the Vibration [at the] Memphis Drum Shop" are on the top of my list.
You can purchase Samantha's book, "100 Things To Do in Memphis Before You Die" for $16 at St. Blues Guitar Workshop gift shop, the South Main Book Juggler, and the Booksellers at Laurelwood. You can also pre-order on Amazon, order from samanthacrespo.com if you want to request a signed copy, or pick up from Barnes & Nobles in about two weeks. Visit the website for updates on locations and events.