He led the Utes to their first WAC Championship in 31 years, a victory that went on to characterize a new phase in the rivalry between BYU and Utah. However, for coach Ron McBride, every match against BYU fuels a promise he made to himself back in 1987, a promise detailed in Mac Attack: The Story of University of Utah Football Coach Ron McBride (Slickrock Books). Written by Salt Lake Tribune columnist and U alumna JoAnn Jacobsen-Wells BS'71, Mac Attack chronicles the life and career of coach McBride, from his childhood in southern California to his passionate service as Utah head coach. Readers will find this book more than just a recounting of events in McBride's life; they will discover the man who mentored hundreds of college football players, valuing their personal victories far more than their victories on the football field. (1998; Slickrock Books, Springville, UT, 84663; paper; $14.95)
Dinosaurs of Utah (University of Utah Press) is not just a labor of love for author and former U professor Frank DeCourten. It is also a successful attempt to describe the dinosaurs that once roamed the region now known as Utah. DeCourten explains that much of what we know about dinosaurs comes from the analysis of Utah fossil specimens, and he reconstructs both the habitat and the environment these dinosaurs inhabited. DeCourten takes the reader back to the context of Mesozoic geological history, contributing to readers' understanding of the "Utah" dinosaurs, including the official state dinosaur, the Allosaurus. Creating a vivid picture through clear prose and 22 color paintings commissioned specifically for this book, Dinosaurs will be especially noteworthy to those interested in the significance of the "Utah" dinosaur. (1998; University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, UT, 84112-9402; cloth; $45.00)
If all you've ever wanted was that right quote you know, the one that frankly and succinctly puts it all together for you then look to The Quotable Vampire (Kensington Books) for help. This recent book from David Proctor BS'70 MS'81 offers readers a collection of 275 memorable quotes drawn from vampire literature, film, and other media, including citations from the nineteenth-century pre-Dracula story, "Carmilla." The quotes are organized into categories such as Food and Drink, Theology, Classic Lines and Variations, Humor, and Rules. No mere Halloween book, The Quotable Vampire also includes a tongue-in-cheek introduction by Proctor, who also wrote short introductions to each chapter of the book. (1997; Kensington Books, New York, NY, 10022-6222; paper; $7.00)
Carl Sederholm, Continuum editorial intern, is a doctoral student in American Studies at the U of U.
On The Nightstand
What's the most memorable book you've read in the last 6 months?
I am tempted to say that my favorite book of the last six months is the one I am just finishing, An Instance of the Fingerpost (Riverhead Book, 1998) by Iain Pears, a marvelously rich and tangled murder mystery set in Restoration England, since it is fresh in my mind. But Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain (Atlantic Press, 1997) is probably the finest novel I've read recently. It is set in the American Civil War and follows two characters, one a Confederate soldier who has deserted and is making his way back home, the other a woman in the community he left, who is trying to run a farm for the first time. The voices are idiosyncratic and convincing, the characters unusually distinct and well-realized, and the level of prosaic detail a source of fascination and wonder.
Eric Hinderaker, assistant professor of history, specializes in Colonial and Revolutionary America.
I recently came upon a remarkable book in an unlikely place the medical school bookstore. Surrounded by all those science and other technical textbooks, Kitchen Table Wisdom (Riverhead Book, 1997) by Rachel Naomi Remen seemed out of place. I picked up this unusual book, perused a few chapters, and was so intrigued that I uncharacteristically purchased the hardback edition on the spot. Remen, a physician, professor of medicine, therapist, and long-term survivor of Crohn's disease, is also a powerful storyteller. Each story, though only a few pages long, reminds the reader of the interconnectedness of human beings and the resiliency of the human condition. What Dr. Remen inspires in this moving book is a deep love for people, an awe at the mysteries of life, and the power of healing.
Kim Wirthlin BA'86 is assistant to the vice president for health sciences and the director of government and institutional relations for health sciences.
Copyright 1999 by The University of Utah Alumni Association