Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Books

What’s Neal Thompson, author of ‘Kickflip Boys,’ reading?

Neal Thompson

For Father’s Day, we checked in with Neal Thompson from his Seattle office. In his new book, Kickflip Boys, Thompson weaves together a story on raising his two independent, passionate sons while giving us an honest look at the underbelly of skateboarding’s street culture. Thompson is also the author of A Curious Man and Driving With the Devil. He identifies Kickflip Boys as a family memoir and admits it was tough when he aimed his journalist’s questions at himself, "the main one being, ‘Have I been a good dad?’?"

What is on your nightstand?

After Philip Roth’s death, I plowed through two of his later works, The Humbling and Everyman, which I found to be touching but so sad. They’re still on my nightstand because I keep flipping through. I’m nearly finished with Rachel Kushner’s The Mars Room, which is smart and timely and also quite sad. Also on the stack is Bad Stories by Steve Almond, 13 Hours by Mitchell Zuckoff and Jamie Quatro’s Fire Sermon.

On my digital nightstand, I’m trying to listen to more audio and recently finished Trevor Noah’s amazing memoir, Born a Crime, and just started Gregory Pardlo’s memoir, Air Traffic. I’ve been pushing myself to read in new directions, and have been wowed by the vital writing of young female writers, especially writers of color, including Zinzi Clemmons, Yaa Gyasi and Jesmyn Ward. Finally, I’m thoroughly enjoying Andrew Sean Greer’s Less, which recently won the Pulitzer Prize.

Piper Castillo, Times staff writer

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Poetry from Erica Dawson, Peter Meinke and other Festival of Reading authors

Poetry from Erica Dawson, Peter Meinke and other Festival of Reading authors

You can see the writers Nov. 17 at the Times Festival of Reading at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.
Published: 11/09/18
Pulitzer Prize-winning 'The Gulf' an expansive history of an American sea

Pulitzer Prize-winning 'The Gulf' an expansive history of an American sea

Historian Jack E. Davis recounts thousands of years of natural and human history on the Gulf of Mexico. In this excerpt, he describes the devastating impact of 19th century plume hunting on Tampa Bay.
Published: 11/09/18
An excerpt from ‘Arthur Ashe: A Life’

An excerpt from ‘Arthur Ashe: A Life’

Raymond Arsenault spent nine years researching and writing the book.
Published: 11/09/18
Joyce Maynard’s memoir ‘The Best of Us’ chronicles love and death

Joyce Maynard’s memoir ‘The Best of Us’ chronicles love and death

The book is a moving account of how the bestselling author found love in her late 50s, then lost the man of her dreams to cancer.
Published: 11/09/18
Books for young readers from Banerjee, Frattino, Gibaldi and Koehler

Books for young readers from Banerjee, Frattino, Gibaldi and Koehler

Authors will discuss a YA novel about teens caught up in the drug trade, a graphic version of a beloved Florida story, a YA romance set in theater camp and a middle-grade adventure on an island of gar
Published: 11/09/18
In Gilbert King’s words: an excerpt from ‘Beneath a Ruthless Sun’

In Gilbert King’s words: an excerpt from ‘Beneath a Ruthless Sun’

The Pulitzer Prize winner’s second book centers on a true crime in Lake County.
Published: 11/09/18
Impressive short story collections from two Florida writers

Impressive short story collections from two Florida writers

Jon Chopan’s “Veterans Crisis Hotline” tells stories of soldiers trying to recover from war; Vanessa Blakeslee’s “Perfect Conditions” juxtaposes the surreal and the everyday.
Published: 11/09/18
Roy Peter Clark is reading and writing about writing

Roy Peter Clark is reading and writing about writing

The Poynter Institute writing coach and prolific author is also reading “Florida Soul,” about music in the Sunshine State.
Published: 11/09/18
'We Fed an Island' sinks its teeth into disaster relief in Puerto Rico

'We Fed an Island' sinks its teeth into disaster relief in Puerto Rico

Award-winning chef Jose Andes writes a bold memoir about feeding millions after Hurricane Maria, and about the federal government's failure to help its citizens.
Published: 11/08/18
Jean Heller and Cheryl Hollon bring back engaging mystery series

Jean Heller and Cheryl Hollon bring back engaging mystery series

Heller’s newspaper columnist, Deuce Mora, chases a serial arsonist in Chicago; Hollon’s glass artist, Savannah Webb, is at sea instead of in St. Petersburg.
Published: 11/08/18