PositiveThe Los Angeles TimesHenry Grabar’s Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World is not a slog; it’s a romp, packed with tales of anger, violence, theft, lust, greed, political chicanery and transportation policy gone wrong ... Paved Paradise sensitized me to just how profoundly parking itself has contributed to the uglification of urban life ... Like many books that chronicle the deep problems that afflict humanity, Paved Paradise is better at explaining the magnitude of the crisis than providing workable solutions.
PositiveThe Los Angeles TimesKara’s book is timely, important, compelling, and while the subject is tough his approach is clear and concise and, in that way, easy to read ... Cobalt Red is largely anecdotal by necessity, because very little hard data exist on the Congo cobalt supply chain. But the anecdotes are rich and detailed, the product of several years spent inside the Congo at great risk to himself ... Kara paints unflinching portraits of the people who toil at the bottom of the rechargeable battery supply chain ... Kara doesn’t spend much time evaluating the depth of corporate indifference. To me this seems to be a subject for journalists to further explore.
RaveThe Los Angeles TimesBlunt offers a fascinating chapter on PG&E’s surprisingly colorful 117-year history, featuring stories of admirable pluck, including a winter sled race for water rights to build a power dam ... Blunt’s book is not a technical tome but a drama, a human tragedy, loaded with fascinating characters and tales of death and destruction, incompetence and chicanery, malfeasance and greed. Any detail necessary to understand the electric grid and how it works is woven seamlessly and clearly through the narrative.
PositiveLos Angeles Times\"Higgins doesn’t break much news or gossip—but [he] also nicely encapsulates this sweeping history of the electric-car juggernaut, a company that often seems to innovate and thrive in spite of its founder rather than as a result of his vaunted genius. To the inevitable disappointment of some and the relief of others, this is a book about Tesla, not about its founder ... When Higgins writes about facts and situations I’m familiar with, I can attest he’s right on the button, every time. If there’s any nonsense in Power Play, Higgins isn’t the source of it.
PositiveThe Los Angeles TimesIn his new book Ludicrous: The Unvarnished Story of Tesla Motors, journalist Edward Niedermeyer hews close to the critics’ interpretation, while also giving Musk his due ... Niedermeyer, an aggressive reporter at the Drive, possesses a deep understanding of how the auto industry works (and often doesn’t). He’s in a good position to assess the foibles of Musk as Tesla struggles to prove that it can earn sustainable profits after 16 years of surviving on cash raised from lenders and investors, with no return on invested capital to show for it ... Whether Tesla succeeds or fails, whether Musk ends up regarded as a hero or a clown, Ludicrous does a fine job of documenting the company’s story and setting the stage for what comes next.