Jim Motavalli

Jim Motavalli writes for The New York TimesBarron’s, eBay, Media Village, SierraAutoweek, National Public Radio’s Car Talk, and others. He is author or editor of nine books, including Forward Drive: The Race to Build Clean Cars for the FutureHigh VoltageThe Fast Track to Plug in the Auto IndustryGreen Living and Feeling the Heat: Dispatches from the Frontlines of Climate Change and Naked in the Woods: Joseph Knowles and the History of Frontier Fakery.

His book The Real Dirt on America’s Frontier Legends, was published August 2019 by Gibbs Smith. Its sequel, The Real Dirt on America’s Frontier Outlaws, was published in April of 2020.

He is also a contributor to the Environmental Defense Fund publications, and to the Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Mr. Motavalli hosts a radio program on WPKN-FM in Connecticut, and lectures widely

Book Reviews by Jim Motavalli

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Britain’s Desert Island Discs has been on the BBC since 1942. They don’t have to choose records on that mythical patch of sand with a lone palm tree for company, but many do.

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It’s nice to know where we come from. Some folks are still taking it hard that we descended from apes, but there are new discoveries all the time.

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“there are a lot of contradictions in modern Iran, and reading this book will give you many valuable insights into how the country functions—with repression and tolerance going hand in hand

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“England sleeps still from valley to hill.” That’s a line from a song by Amazing Blondel, a British group that imagined an Arcadian rural past.

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Tiger in the Sea is ultimately an inspiring, uplifting book, with multiple heroes.”

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“Berger does a great job here of not only profiling SpaceX, but also capturing the total brinksmanship of its swashbuckling founder.”

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It’s not surprising that the jacket blurb compares this new memoir to Patti Smith’s Just Kids. Besides being a terrific book, that one sold really well.

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The short stories in Mary-Beth Hughes’ collection The Ocean House are linked, not by the titular manse—the last of the great seafront houses in Long Branch, New Jersey, its property covete

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Let’s face it, a book centered around the wretched child abuse of a large family at the hands of a demented religious fanatic has some inherent drama to it.

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In 2012, a Damascus, Oregon woman named Julie Keith tore open a package of inexpensive Halloween decorations—fake tombstones—and out fell a piece of paper.

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Michael Oberman was the music columnist at the daily Washington Star, taking over from his older brother, Ron, from February 1967 to March 1973.

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So this is the new “book” by the great singer-songwriter David Byrne, with illustrations by Maira Kalman.