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

Author Neal Thompson. (Photo by Beowulf Sheehan)
Author Neal Thompson. (Photo by Beowulf Sheehan)
Published June 15 2018

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