Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Tom Groneberg  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Born: 1966 in Chicago, Illinois

-- Website --
-- Tom Groneberg on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

He was born in Chicago, Illinois. He graduated from University of Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Groneberg is an author who lived in Chicago for many years before deciding to move west. Besides writing books, he has written articles, essays and short stories that have appeared in ''Esquire'', ''Men's Health'', ''Best Life'', ''Men's Journal'', ''Sports Afield'', and he's a frequent contibutor to the award-winning ''Montana Quarterly'' and ''Big Sky Journal''.Groneberg has worked as a tour guide and cattle rancher. He currently lives in Montana.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

The Secret Life of Cowboys
ISBN: 0806136502

University of Oklahoma Press. 2004

In this classic memoir, a young man facing a future he doesn’t want to claim has an inspiration―Go West. Tom Groneberg leaves behind friends and family, follows his heart, and heads to a resort town in the Colorado Rockies, where he earns his spurs as a wrangler leading tourists on horseback. Later, Groneberg moves to Montana, where he works for wages at a number of ranches before buying his own ranch. Demystifying the image of cowboys as celluloid heroes, The Secret Life of Cowboys is a coming-of-age story as stunning as the land itself and a revealing look at America’s last frontier.

One Good Horse
ISBN: 0743265181

Scribner. 2008

Since moving west over a decade ago, Tom Groneberg has worked with horses as a trail guide, as a ranch hand, and as the manager of his own ranch in Montana, but he has never owned a really good horse. Until, on an autumn night, in a warm barn under a blanket of snow, Blue is born. Soon, he will belong to Tom Groneberg. "If I had a good horse," writes Tom, "I could give it my life. I could ride it for years. We could grow old together." So begins this unique American love story about a man and his horse. In straightforward, poetic prose, Tom Groneberg chronicles the early successes and failures of trying to train Blue, earning the animal's trust, and saddling him for the first time. The experience is challenging, but ultimately rewarding for Tom. Through his relationship with the animal, he develops a deeper understanding of the land and his community, and of himself -- as a man, and as a husband and father. In a world in which horses are fast becoming nothing more than warm-blooded lawn ornaments, Tom still believes these animals are important in human lives. At its heart, One Good Horse is about the power of hope, the simple story of a horse and the way people connect with nature and with each other across the generations.


Top Ten Editor's Pick (

Best Books of the Year (January Magazine Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writer's Program Honor Book Award from the Montana Humanities Council Horizon Award from the Wyoming Arts Coucil

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)