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David Abrams

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Babylon and Other Stories by Alix Ohlin

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Strip by Thomas Perry

Cadillac Beach : A Novel by Tim Dorsey

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The Benson Murder Case by S. S. Van Dine

The Compleat Angler: The Art of Recreation by Izaak Walton

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Member: davidabrams

CollectionsYour library (9,046), Currently reading (4), All collections (9,046)

Reviews223 reviews

TagsKindle (1,237), short stories (963), mystery (875), memoir (408), children's lit (380), American lit--20th century (317), western (307), biography (302), history (256), Montana (236) — see all tags

Cloudstag cloud, author cloud, tag mirror

About meMy novel about the Iraq War, Fobbit, will be published by Grove/Atlantic in September 2012.

Once upon a time, on a dark and stormy night, I was born. My father's family name being Abrams, and my christian name David...just don't call me Ishmael. Since then, it's been the best of times, the worst of times...but mostly some pretty ordinary times.

I spent my youth in Wyoming (raised in the shadow of the Tetons), then met the woman of my dreams, married, settled down and raised a lovely family. Along the way, I earned a B.A. in English from the University of Oregon. For a couple of years, I was a reporter for newspapers in Montana. In 1988, I joined the Army as a journalist. In the course of a 20-year career, this took me to such far-flung exotic places as Japan, Thailand, the Comoros Islands, and El Paso, Texas. And, of course, an 11-month tour in Iraq. In my spare time, I write fiction. My stories, essays and interviews have been published in Esquire, Narrative, Glimmer Train Stories, The Readerville Journal, Greensboro Review and Fish Stories, among others. An essay on fishing in Alaska appears in Alaska Passages, published by Sasquatch Books. Another short story appears in the anthology Visiting Hours published by Press 53 Books. One of my short stories was listed as one of the "100 Other Distinguished Stories of 1998" in the anthology The Best American Short Stories, 1999 edited by Amy Tan. In 2004, I earned a Master of Fine Arts desgree in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska.
I maintain the lit blog The Quivering Pen (

About my libraryI'm a slow reader. But a fast acquirer of books. Those two halves of my personality are always in conflict. I've come to grips with the fact that I'll never read all the books in my library before I die. Still, I'm sad about it.

GroupsAlgonquin Readers Round Table, Hardboiled / Noir Crime Fiction, Invisible Library, Le Salon du peuple pour le peuple

Favorite authorsRick Bass, Charles Baxter, Raymond Carver, Willa Cather, Anton Chekhov, Agatha Christie, Charles Dickens, E. L. Doctorow, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Richard Ford, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ernest Hemingway, John Irving, William Kittredge, Lewis Nordan, Flannery O'Connor, T.R. Pearson, John Updike, Edith Wharton, William Wharton (Shared favorites)


Favorite bookstoresSecond Edition Books


Also onBookMooch, Facebook, Twitter

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real nameDavid Abrams

LocationButte, MT

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/davidabrams (profile)
/catalog/davidabrams (library)

Member sinceApr 26, 2006

Currently readingGreat Plains by Ian Frazier
Popeye Vol. 1: "I Yam What I Yam" by E. C. Segar
Arkansas by John Brandon
Eternal Enemies by Adam Zagajewski

Leave a comment


Thanks for turning me on to Lewis Nordan. Great stuff. I've purchased your book but not yet read it.
Hey, David - Saw you just added THE SHOOTIST to your library. I read it back in '77, when I should have been doing my Russian homework at DLI. Did you know that Swarthout (who had MI connections and also wrote Bless the Beasts and the Children) wrote that book with John Wayne in mind? And it was a great film too, w/ the Duke, Jimmy Stewart, Lauren Bacall, Ronny Howard, Richard Boone, Hugh O'Brian. Hmmm ... who did I forget? Did you connect w/ Ben Busch and Brian Castner in Miami last week? I hope so. I've been reading CBC's Linden MacIntyre's novels recently. Every one a winner. Highly recommended. Hope you had a good Thanksgiving.
Love your latest blog post! We are similar in our reading: We each read about 50 books a year and have it planned out and then things change at the delivery for Fed Ex.

That is what happened to me with Dean's book. I had just realized I was in the middle of 8 books and vowed not to start another until I had finished them all. Then I get a surprise package...

I am nearing the end. It is a quick and wonderful read. Very bookish. But also fun and sad.

Of course since I know Dean and also the knew the sales rep that one of his characters is based upon, I am coming at the book differently than the average reader will.

Nonetheless, highly recommend, and happy to see that it is on your kindle order, given I didn't see it in your pictures.

Look forward to following your reading in the new year.

Nancy Quinn
Just started Dean Bakopoulous's My American Unhappiness. Have you looked at it yet?
david, my newest, BOOKLOVER, is now available. hope you'll take a look. - tim
Glad you have Pirates.

Great that we have so many books in common.
David, you have most interesting reading tastes and your library reflects it. I have been in Butte. I love all of Montana and Wyoming. I live in New York and the south of France which is where I am now.
You are in my "interesting libraries" set for reasons I've long since forgotten, but I still contend that yours is an interesting library. One question, however: is this your actual, physical library, or is there a broader cataloging happening here?
Just wondering if your copy of Dana Hand's DEEP CREEK is an actual print copy? I've been trying to read it on NetGalley and having a rough time of it. I've written to the publisher requesting a print copy, but in the meantime, I'm just wondering . . .
Loved your review on Wolfe's 'A Man in full'. I'm the founder of, a free online publishing service - just started. I would be very happy to see your book reviews (and other stuff) on the site. You could use it as an alternative platform to share your thoughts. If interested all you need to do is register and you can start publishing.

Thomas Vieth, London
Noticed you've read both of Tom Groneberg's books, David. If you want the other side of that story, read his wife's book too. Jennifer Groneberg is an equally talented writer, who tells her story of following Tom and rasing three boys. One of her twins is a Down syndrome baby. Road Map to Holland is a very eloquent and moving book. I just heard from Jennifer, who said Tom has gotten a job on a ranch near Helena and is "ten years younger" for lack of worrying about a job. They are nice people. I hope they write some more books. - Tim
Thanks for adding me.
Hi David,

I enjoyed your review of Antipodes: Stories - I'm currently reading it...started it on the subway this morning I'm sure I'll be wrapped up by tonight. I visited your profile - I wasn't surprised to find that you're a writer after reading such a perfectly expressed opinion.

Anyway, I see we have a lot of books in common. Hopefully, I'll come across more of your reviews for books I read in the future.

Hello Thanks for accepting me as your friend, Glad to meet you herer
Hey David,

Thanks for your great words on Denis Johnson. He's one of my favorites, and his new novel is high on my tbr list. Btw, I picked up a copy of A Midnight Clear today - for a quarter! (hardcover, 1st ed.) - at the local public library and, after inputting it, just happened upon the exceptional review you wrote on it a few years back. Well done! I'm thinking I may need to get in to this novel pronto, if not tonight!

I see you're a writer! Very cool. I've had one piece of fiction and one poem published myself, and am presently working hard trying to get more published. I'll be keeping an eye out for your work. Wouldn't'cha know it, I happened upon a copy of The Best American Short Stories, 2000, at my library awhile back, just one year removed from the edition featuring your fiction. Hope to read your work soon!

All the very best to you,
Hi David,

I saw you just gave Denis Johnson's latest 5 stars. I'm itching to get my hands on it myself. It was that good huh? I believe it. He's an amazing, relatively under-the-radar writer always, it seems, worth reading.

All the best,
Sorry for the shameless self-promotion, but I thought you might like to know that my new novel, Dirty Little Angels, is now available. Thought you might be interested since people have compared it to Flannery O'Connor, who I noticed was on your shelf. Here's a summary in case you're interested:

Set in the slums of New Orleans, among clusters of crack houses and abandoned buildings, Dirty Little Angels is the story of sixteen year old Hailey Trosclair. When the Trosclair family suffers a string of financial hardships and a miscarriage, Hailey finds herself looking to God to save her family. When her prayers go unanswered, Hailey puts her faith in Moses Watkins, a failed preacher and ex-con. Fascinated by Moses's lopsided view of religion, Hailey, and her brother Cyrus, begin spending time down at an abandoned bank that Moses plans to convert into a drive-through church. Gradually, though, Moses's twisted religious beliefs become increasingly more violent, and Hailey and Cyrus soon find themselves trapped in a world of danger and fear from which there may be no escape.

If you'd like to read the first chapter, you can read it here:

Take care,


i just read your review of strip city and if i had read it before i wasted my time reading the book i would of not lost all that time!!!! good review thanks we share some of my fav. books!!!

Hi David,

I have just read your review of Flannery O'Connor's Short Stories - I am feeling breathless - I just want to rush out and get everything she has ever written so i can share your experience.

I see we share 94 books.

I am currently reading The Poisonwood Bible among others.

Hello, David.
I thought I'd leave a comment since we share some interesting books. Most particularly "The Yellowstone National Park" by Chittenden. My copy is the 1918 edition, which I inherited from my Grandfather who owned a dude ranch near Jackson Hole in the 20's and 30's. In addition to the Wyoming connection, I was also in the military for many years, and lived in Laurel, MD and Anchorage, Alaska, among other places. We share 131 books. Regards, Jan
hi david. i just finished Away by Amy Bloom, and read your review. i didn't mention this in my review, but have to agree that lillian remained at arm's length...well said...
David -

I was reviewing the books we share. Is it fair to assume that if you haven't starred a book, you haven't read it? If that is the case, I highly recommend that you read The Story of a Marriage, one of my favorite books of the year. I have spend a little time looking at your reviews, and I think you would like this one.

I have been a bookseller in Milwaukee for 19 years.

Do you mind if I add you to my interesting libraries?

I see you've just read [The Garden of Last Days] by Andre III Dubus. I've just added to my tbr pile and should get to it soon. What did you think of it?
Hi--You've got a great library and wonderful reviews. Since you're kinda in the area, I hope that you have a chance sometime to check out Baltimore's only dedicated fiction reading series, the 510 Readings ( Maud Casey has read; Christine Schutt and Madison Smartt Bell will read; and more to come! Thanks.
Hi-I've been meaning to write to tell you how very much I enjoy and appreciate your thoughtful and thought-provoking reviews. Whenever I see that you've written one for a book I'm contemplating, I know it will be dead-on. I am grateful for wordsmiths always. Thanks.
Just reread The Regulators and skimmed through the reviews after reading it...I really enjoyed yours, couldn't agree more with it :)
Hi David,

Just joined LT and have only entered approximately 60 titles..we share 33..I must have good taste, eh?
David, congratulations on the Breakthrough novel! And are you from the same David Abrams from (who, if I remember, did enter the Amazon contest.)
Congratulations, David! That's so exciting!
Hi David, I'm new to LT and have just about reached 200 books added. Of those 200 (it's actually 190 right now, I think), I share the most with you, at a whopping 28. So I thought I'd say hello. Looks like you're a pretty active player around here! I'm looking forward to checking out your writing. Best, Jerry
Wow, your review of Away left me humbled. I check back periodically to see who loved it, who hated it, and why. I loved it of course, and could not express adequately in words why, I just kept thinking fierce love, damaged characters and negative spaces...I like an author to surprise me or challenge me, and Amy Bloom did that. I am holding back reading more of your reviews, I can tell from the comments here that I will be further humbled, and will begin to second guess myself as I write mine in the future... We share quite a few books, but given the size of your lirary, it is no surprise. I read your profile and smiled as
I share a love of Wyoming too, I spent a summer in the Bighorns and am still haunted by the people and the place. I was born in Maryland, grew up in the nooks and crannies of the Chesapeake Bay and am equally haunted by the smells and tastes of home. I envy your travels and your talent. Nice to meet you,
Great to meet you. Thanks for accepting my friendship. I'm Looking forward to checking out your library and I hope you enjoy mine.
Geez, David, you're so popular, I darest not leave a comment.

But, lo, it is a dark and stormy Alaska-night, and I've had "a couple". And books are on my brain (par normal).

I notice you manage to add books to your library at roughly the same pace that I do. Are you able to read all of yours?

Boy, not me. Though I try... Oh, how I try. (Then I get the brilliant notion of reading "Kristin Lavransdatter" and the immediately after: "THe Greenlanders" and things get WAAAAAY slowed down.)

By the way, how are you liking Bookmooch? I am debating which "swapping" site to sign up for. I have embarrassing numbers of multiples that I can't "resell".
Hey David, how's things...? I was looking at my most similar libraries and lo and behold, I thought I recognised that name. Then again, with 4k books, I'm bound to have a few of them.
I see we have 144 books in common so far. I have more to put up yet, but I'll be reading your reviews for good contemporary fiction recommendations too as soon as I can.
I think you might like "Maybe the Moon" by Armistead Maupin.

I just read several of your reviews, and wanted to say:

Your writing makes me long for the days when people wrote letters with quills and stamped in wax and were capable of professing emotion without the colon or the parentheses.

Hello David

Nice to see here as well as at Readerville. You popped up on my list as someone I share a number of books with. Not surprising considering you have 4000! books listed here.

Miriam U.

Yes, many wonderful books...but at 4,000-plus, they can be both a blessing and a curse, I suppose. So many books, so little time to read...

As a matter of fact, I *am* working on a novel based on my Iraq experiences. It's been in the works for a couple of years now, and will probably take at least that much longer before it's finished.

As for the Queen of Murder, I was lucky enough to be invited to write a blog for the Official Agatha Christie website, which you can find at Reading Agatha Christie

Thanks for stopping by my little dusty corner of Library Thing!
Hi David, I've been looking through your collection - you have so many wonderful books! Do you think you will ever write a book about your experiances in Iraq? How did you decide to write about Agatha Christie?
David - What a gift for writing you have - I read your profile as we share many books and enjoyed your writing style and then started reading your reviews!! Kudos!!

fistly lucky you with all your comments!! and now to my own comment, i just wanted to ask your opinion on North and south by mrs gaskell since your the only man i've heard of who's read it. i loved it, but don't let that influence your reply.
i just wanted to say that i love your book reviews. they keep popping up on books that i am interested in reading and you usually convince me they are worth my time. THANK YOU!
Bravo on your "City of God" review. A real stimulating and, I think, spot-on piece. Thanks muchly...
David, nice collection. You and I share 90 titles, most notably we both like Mapbacks and classic mysteries in general. I'm also a fan of the Three Investigators series.
I've enjoyed browsing your library. I've not read any of Carl Hiaasen's work as yet. Which would you recommend I begin with.?
we have almost 300 selections in common and i thought that was amazing! i am reading feast of love right now and loving it! i plan to try out mr. lewis nordan soon. happy reading!! :)
Hey, we have a lot of books in common. One of the most interesting being 'Childhood and Other Neighborhoods' by Stuart Dybek. I didn't know anyone else knew of him!
I am about a quarter way through adding my Agatha Christies. I came upon a treasure trove at the old Hunt-Phelan home in Memphis. Before they renovated it they had a big yard sale; the oldest descendent had died and he had an incredible collection of pulp Christie paperbacks from the 60s and before. They start at page 9 of my library, and I still have many more to add! I was excited to read the Agatha Christie page you have, and thought you might be interested in these old covers.
All best,
thanks a lot, David

Elizabeth McGregor
Just finished and entered into my site a book titled "Girls" by Frederick Busch. I did a little poking around and found that you and I share 164 common titles. Enough for me to trust your opinion :>) I would like to read another by Busch but I have a TBR stack that is out of control and any thoughts of bringing it to heel any time in the near future are few and far between. If I am going to spend time with Busch I would really like a recommendation. He has quite a few novels available. Would you have any suggestions ?
David, You mentioned in your profile that you have an essay in "Alaska Passages." It seems I'm the only LibraryThing member who owns that book. I'll have to check it out when I get home tonight. I live in Anchorage and have been considering applying for the Masters of Creative Writing at UAA. Any thoughts? - Linda
Hi David... I'm trying to get this comment in before the site goes down tonight! Anyway, just discovered this site, and entered 196 books so far... we share 49, so you clearly have excellent taste! This is such a great idea -- it's a great feeling to see other people around the country who share the same interest in books. When I have time this weekend, I'd like to explore the rest of your list (how long did it take you to enter all of your titles?!)
Take care -
Just checked all the books we shared. (A small bit of bragging now: recently saw and chatted with Doig [didn't say that "Whistling Season" is flawed by raising expectation of sleep-disturbance. I need to reread it to be fair.] And, years ago I spoke to Hoban... if you haven't seen the lovely fan website try it---you'll like it!) Will check more later. Esta 1923
Delighted to find someone who keeps "The Mouse and His Child" on shelf! I have loved it for years (even used it with a college freshmanclass successfully!)

Just found this site and love it. As I enter in more and more books, your name is at the top of my "users with your books." Where exactly, just out of curiousity, is Richmond Hill? My wife and I live in Milledgeville. I've read some of your work in Glimmer Train--good stuff-- and a great place to publish. Also, just a sidebar, we live on Lake Sinclair which has some pretty good bass fishing. Good catfish and crappie as well. Cheers, JPB III
Hi David,
Have you come across Tlingit people in Alaska? I am working on something in their language, and some day should connect with them. Thought of going there for summer job but really want to make sure I get my first book on Maori published here (by my own company). In China, teaching English. You share some of my classic books but just about 5. That's major on my list - many of my books may be not so common.

So were in Iraq.... with army? Big experience??
David --

If you drop Tim a line, he'll put you on the LibraryThing authors listing, and you may find that there are more people here who have read your work.

I'm somewhat in awe of your very detailed, thoughtful reviews.
I just wanted to let you know that I love your reviews! It is obvious that you spend a lot of time and thought writing them, and I certainly appreciate it. You are a very talented writer and I look forward to reading more of your work!
Your wonderful review of Angela's Ashes is prompting me to read the book, which has been in my library for a while but has not been read yet. Thank you!
Paola :-))
I owe you one. Big time. I stumbled across your review of Lewis Nordan's Music of the Swamp and thought, "oh, come on, it can't be that good." When, a day or so later, I saw the book at a library sale, I picked it up. I started reading it today and it is that good! Yes, indeed, the man knows language and can string words together in a way that leaves you dazzled. You've made a convert, and you didn't even need to chase me down the street.
No problem. I read quite a few short story anthologies. I just graduated from college with a BA in Creative Writing. I'd like to go on to get an MFA, but who knows.

I know what you mean. I only wish there was a way to put books I've read but don't own in a different catalogue. My list would be so long!
I wanted to tell you that I love your short story, "My Father's Heart." That was you, right?
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