Picks of the Week-February 8

We hope that you’ve all kept your resolutions to read or listen to more books! We understand that at times it could be a challenge narrowing down your next listen, so we had our acquirers narrow down some of their top picks for you.

American Nightmare: The History of Jim Crow

American Nightmare examines and explains Jim Crow from its beginnings to its end: how it came into being, how it was lived, how it was justified, and how, at long last, it was overcome only a few short decades ago.

Note: Author Jerrold M. Packard presents a concise examination of the Jim Crow laws that were experienced by many Americans living today. American Nightmare: The History of Jim Crow is an excellent introductory read for Black History Month as it covers the beginning and end of the segregation laws, and how they continue to affect future generations. This book explores the language, laws, and punishments that were weaponized against African Americans – giving readers the ability to analyze the coded oppression, inspired by the Jim Crow era, that persists in modern American society. -Desiree Lynch

Publishing Date: 2/9/2021

Written by: Jerrold M. Packard

Read by: Terrence Kidd

Bugsy Siegel:  The Dark Side of the American Dream

In a brief life that led to a violent end, Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel (1906–1947) rose from desperate poverty to ill-gotten riches, from an early-twentieth-century family of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants on the Lower East Side to a kingdom of his own making in Las Vegas. In this biography, author Michael Shnayerson sets out not to absolve Bugsy Siegel but rather to understand him in all his complexity.

Note: This thorough look at one of America’s most famous gangsters will take you through some of the most momentous moments in America’s history; the roaring twenties, the great depression, and World War II.  Along the way you’ll be transported to Mid-Century New York City and across the country to when Las Vegas was soon to become so much more than empty desert, largely due to Bugsy’s vision of it. -Dan Totten

Publishing Date: 2/9/2021

Written by: Michael Shnayerson

Read by: Steven Jay Cohen

Little Girls in Pretty Boxes: The Making and Breaking of Elite Gymnasts and Figure Skaters

A sports reporter investigates the training of girls as professional gymnasts and figure skaters, arguing that the pressure to succeed and to look beautiful results in mental and physical harm, from eating disorders to psychological trauma.

Note: The first book to ever expose the dark side of gymnastics and figure skating culture. Learn about the longstanding culture of abuse and win at all cost mindset that is still being fought to be changed today. This is a must-listen for fans of gymnastics and figuring skating.-Jannah McCowan

Publishing Date: 2/9/2021

Written by: Joan Ryan

Read by: Jennifer Jill Araya

Lady in Ermine

Stroke by stroke, color by color, the past comes alive as a young woman in Lombardy, Italy, trains to paint with the masters.

Note: Author Donna DiGiuseppe takes us on a colorful journey of the life of Sofonisba Anguissola, a female Renaissance painter whose significant body of work inspired hundreds of artists and shed light on the importance of lesser-known female artists during the Renaissance period. -Kristen Hummel

Publishing Date: 2/9/2021

Written by: Donna DiGiuseppe

Read by: Nicol Zanzarella     

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