25 Women to Read Before You Die

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores


Authors, readers, critics, media — and booksellers.


Chuck Palahniuk: What I’m Giving

In this special series, we asked writers we admire to share a book they're giving to their friends and family this holiday season. Check back daily to see the books your favorite authors are gifting.

÷ ÷ ÷

The book I'm giving as a Christmas gift this year is The Stud Book by Monica Drake. As always, Drake is funny without resorting to shtick or snarkiness. And she's brilliant without hiding behind cleverness. Reading the novel, I wasn't constantly distracted by postmodern tricks and gimmicks. Drake's writing has the clarity and charm of Joyce Maynard's Baby Love or Denis Johnson's Jesus' Son.

The characters in The Stud Book are as conflicted and endearing as those of Junot Díaz and Nami Mun. Reading the book, you want everyone depicted in it to be real. You'll wish the 336 pages would stretch to 1,000 because you won't want to leave Drake's world where people get by skating along on good intentions and hope.

The book would be my choice for anyone, young or old, male or female. It even compares favorably to John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces. Anyone who enjoyed Dunces or Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City series will want to read The Stud Book and Drake's earlier novel, Clown Girl, because those books do for Portland what Toole and Maupin have done for New Orleans and San Francisco. Drake has turned her hometown into a place where you'll long to live, filled with characters you dream of having as friends.

÷ ÷ ÷

Chuck Palahniuk's 12 bestselling novels — Damned, Tell-All, Pygmy, Snuff, Rant, Haunted, Diary, Lullaby, Choke, Invisible Monsters, Survivor, and Fight Club — have sold more than five million copies in the United States. Doomed is his latest book. He is also the author of Fugitives and Refugees, published as part of the Crown Journey Series, and the nonfiction collection Stranger than Fiction. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.

Books mentioned in this post

  1. Damned
    Used Trade Paper $8.00
  2. Tell-All
    Used Trade Paper $10.50
  3. Pygmy
    Used Trade Paper $8.00
  4. Snuff Used Trade Paper $6.95
  5. Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey
    Used Hardcover $5.95
  6. Haunted: A Novel
    Used Trade Paper $4.95
  7. Diary
    Used Trade Paper $5.95
  8. Lullaby
    Used Trade Paper $8.00
  9. Choke: A Novel
    Used Trade Paper $8.00
  10. Invisible Monsters
    Used Trade Paper $7.95
  11. Survivor Used Trade Paper $8.50
  12. Fight Club
    Used Trade Paper $5.50

  13. Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk in...
    Used Hardcover $9.95
  14. Stranger Than Fiction: True Stories
    Used Trade Paper $6.50
  15. The Stud Book
    Used Hardcover $9.95
  16. Clown Girl: A Novel
    Used Trade Paper $5.95
  17. A Confederacy of Dunces
    Used Trade Paper $7.50
  18. Jesus' Son Sale Trade Paper $7.98

Chuck Palahniuk is the author of Doomed

Post a comment:

Get Your Gravatar

  1. Please note:
  2. All comments require moderation by Powells.com staff.
  3. Comments submitted on weekends might take until Monday to appear.
PowellsBooks.Blog uses Gravatar to allow you to personalize the icon that appears beside your name when you post. If you don't have one already, get your Gravatar today!
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.