To know the geography of Texas, you must know its rivers. The book Viva Texas Rivers! Adventures, Misadventures, and Glimpses of Nirvana along Our Storied Waterways may be the most comprehensive effort to date to capture the charms, mythologies, and challenges of the state’s rivers in one volume.

Published by Texas A&M University Press, the book is a glide down more than 28 waterways with more than 70 writers, mostly Texans, as your guides. The compilation explores the muck as well as the transcendence of Texas rivers and includes pieces by songwriters T-Bone Walker and Butch Hancock, poets Naomi Shihab Nye and Carmen Tafolla, nonfiction writers S.C. Gwynne and John Graves, and novelists Attica Locke and Joe R. Lansdale.

Read more from Clayton Maxwell with Texas Highways here.