Showing posts with label bananas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bananas. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "Strange Contagion" by Lee Daniel Kravetz, Served with Two Toasts: Avocado with Spicy Sriracha Mayo & Banana Almond Butter with Chocolate Drizzle

I've been trying to branch out more in my reading so I am happy to be on the TLC Book Tour for Strange Contagion: Inside the Surprising Science of Infectious Behaviors and Viral Emotions and What They Tell Us About Ourselves by Lee Daniel Kravetz, a book about the science behind social contagion--the way infectious behaviors, emotions and actions can come together and how ideas spread. Along with my review, I am serving up two of my favorite toasts: Avocado Toast with Spicy Sriracha Mayo and Banana Almond Butter Toast with Dark Chocolate Drizzle, inspired by my reading and sure to pump up those dopamines and your mood. 

Publisher's Blurb:

Picking up where The Tipping Point leaves off, respected journalist Lee Daniel Kravetz’s Strange Contagion is a provocative look at both the science and lived experience of social contagion.

In 2009, tragedy struck the town of Palo Alto: A student from the local high school had died by suicide by stepping in front of an oncoming train. Grief-stricken, the community mourned what they thought was an isolated loss. Until, a few weeks later, it happened again. And again. And again. In six months, the high school lost five students to suicide at those train tracks.
A recent transplant to the community and a new father himself, Lee Daniel Kravetz’s experience as a science journalist kicked in: what was causing this tragedy? More important, how was it possible that a suicide cluster could develop in a community of concerned, aware, hyper-vigilant adults?
The answer? Social contagion. We all know that ideas, emotions, and actions are communicable—from mirroring someone’s posture to mimicking their speech patterns, we are all driven by unconscious motivations triggered by our environment. But when just the right physiological, psychological, and social factors come together, we get what Kravetz calls a “strange contagion:” a perfect storm of highly common social viruses that, combined, form a highly volatile condition.
Strange Contagion is simultaneously a moving account of one community’s tragedy and a rigorous investigation of social phenomenon, as Kravetz draws on research and insights from experts worldwide to unlock the mystery of how ideas spread, why they take hold, and offer thoughts on our responsibility to one another as citizens of a globally and perpetually connected world.

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Harper Wave (June 27, 2017)

My Review:

Psychology and especially why people do what they do has always fascinated me so I was immediately pulled into Strange Contagion. I was not familiar with the Palo Alto tragedies where a series of students and recent graduates from one high school committed suicide on the commuter train tracks, and it is both sad and mystifying. Besides living in the same town and going to the same high school, there was no real connection to these students--they all participated in different activities and were not friends, yet a cluster was formed. Author Kravetz, recently moved to the community looked for an explanation and found it in the phenomenon of social contagion--which if it sounds like a disease, it moves and acts like one with its ability to infect a group like a virus. 

I was immediately absorbed in the book which although it can lapse deeply into science and facts at times, manages to put the information forth in a palatable way. Kravetz did a lot of research but the detailed facts he uncovered are tempered with emotion--you can tell he truly cares about his subject and the heartbreak his community faced, as well as having his own fears of bringing up his children in a community where the suicide clusters happened not once, but twice. The examples of social contagions are not limited to Palo Alto--it is in many aspects of life. Examples included bulimia and how the discovery and attempts to provide information via the media led to a sudden increase of cases, gun violence and school shootings, the outbreak of accusations of abuse and satanic rituals at daycare centers across the country, and even the more mundane like work groups and how one negative person on a team can drag down productivity--something I have witnessed many times. There are positive examples of social contagion too, like telenovelas with positive images that led to increased sign-ups for adult literacy. Kravetz gives some ideas including caring more about ourselves and each other, training people to look for warning signs of social contagions, and trying to intercept negative chains before they get started. There is also a resource section on suicide prevention at the back of the book.

Strange Contagion packs a lot of information into 280-some pages and its hard to do it justice in a review. If you like learning about science, psychology and emotion, you will likely find this book as fascinating as I did. Living in the times that we do, it is especially easy to see social contagions in action--as the recent elections are a great example. I found many ah-hah moments in the book and will probably go back and read at least sections of it again. Not a breezy summer read but a good one.


Author Notes: Lee Daniel Kravetz has a master’s degree in counseling psychology and is a graduate of the University of Missouri–Columbia School of Journalism. He has written for Psychology Today, the Huffington Post, and the New York Times, among other publications. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and children.
Find out more about Lee at his website, and connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.


Food Inspiration: 

So, Strange Contagion is a book that leans to the serious and scientific and not the food. There are a few mentions of coffees, lunch, apples and sushi and tempura and I am not making light of the seriousness of the suicides in Palo Alto by including a recipe pairing--it's what I do. I decided to go with dopamines for my inspiration, also known as the good enhancing or happy hormone in the brain. I do a workshop on "good mood foods"--that includes foods thought to naturally boost the dopamine levels with serotonin, selenium, Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin D, folic acid and calcium. I figure that we live in a tough world, so anything we can do to make ourselves feel better is a good thing. 

Here are a dozen foods thought to add to a positive mood.  

12 Good Mood Foods

1.     Bananas

2.     Oranges and other citrus fruit

3.     Oats & whole grains

4.     Almonds

5.     Chicken and turkey

6.     Avocado

7.     Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, flax, sesame)

8.     Fatty fish (salmon, black cod, sardines)

9.     Dark chocolate

10.  Green Vegetables

11.  Dairy products

12.  Berries

Honestly, avocado toast never fails to put me in a good mood and I eat it at least a couple of times a week--at my favorite local coffee shop and at home as I asked the owner what was in their Spicy Garlic Aioli and recreated it so I can supplement my avo toast consumption on days I'm not there. Although nothing beats their toast and having someone make it for me, it's a pretty close approximation. When I don't have ripe avocados on hand, I like using apple bananas and almond butter on my toast and nothing enhances a mood like drizzling dark chocolate on top of something. I make both of these on an oat and grain seeded bread. Plenty of good mood foods going on here. 

I've included my recipe for Sriracha-Garlic Mayo, that I use on the toast and just about anything else as well as instructions for putting both toasts together.

Sriracha-Garlic Mayo
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes 1/2 cup)

1/2 cup mayonnaise (I use vegan garlic mayo)
2 1/2 Tbsp sriracha, or to taste
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder (I use roasted garlic powder)
1/2 Tbsp pickle or caper juice + more to taste and thin as needed to drizzle

Stir together ingredients in a small bowl. Taste and add additional Sriracha or seasoning as desired. 

Cover and chill until ready to use. Will keep for about a week to ten days in fridge.

To make Avocado Toast with Spicy Garlic Mayo: Toast seeded grain bread and spread with a thin layer of garlic butter. Top with thinly-sliced avocado and drizzle with Sriracha Garlic Mayo. Sprinkle lightly with celery salt and enjoy!

To make Banana Almond Butter Toast: Toast seeded grain bread and spread with a layer of almond butter. Top with thinly sliced banana and drizzle melted dark chocolate on top if desired. Enjoy!

Notes/Results: What can I say? I eat both of these toasts all the time and love them. If you don't like bananas, sliced strawberries work equally well with the almond butter and chocolate, and you can also substitute peanut butter or any other nut butter if you like. With the Sriracha-Garlic Mayo, you can make it as hot as you like--I like it to have a good kick but not burn my taste buds and the creamy avocado cools things down a bit. Just don't leave off the celery salt from this toast--the combination just makes it. Whether for breakfast, lunch, or a snack, these toasts keep me satisfied and in a good mood. 

I'm linking this post up to the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

I'm also linking up these tasty sandwich-y toasts to Souper Sundays, hosted here at Kahakai Kitchen. Each Sunday we feature delicious soups, salads, and sandwiches from friends around the blogosphere--please join in if you have any to share. Here's this week's post and linkup.

Note: A review copy of "The Strange Contagion" was provided to me by the publisher Harper Collins and TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.

You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "The Orphan's Tale" by Pam Jenoff, Served with Oatmeal (Porridge) with Caramelized Bananas

It is such a blustery, rainy Wednesday here. Perfect for curling up with an engrossing book like The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff and a warm and hearty breakfast. I'm reviewing this touching World War II historical novel today and pairing my review with a recipe for Oatmeal (Porridge) with Caramelized Bananas, inspired by my reading.

Publisher's Blurb

A powerful novel of friendship set in a traveling circus during World War II, The Orphan’s Tale introduces two extraordinary women and their harrowing stories of sacrifice and survival.

Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep… When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night.

Noa finds refuge with a German circus, but she must learn the flying trapeze act so she can blend in undetected, spurning the resentment of the lead aerialist, Astrid. At first rivals, Noa and Astrid soon forge a powerful bond. But as the facade that protects them proves increasingly tenuous, Noa and Astrid must decide whether their friendship is enough to save one another—or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything.

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: MIRA (February 21, 2017)

My Review:

World War II is my favorite era for historical fiction and I have a passion for circus stories, so pairing them together in one book is pretty much like catnip for me. It's never easy to read books set in such a dark time in history, but I found myself immediately caught up in the story; the details of circus life during the war, the acts under the Big Top, and the way that the circus family looks out for and protects its members--putting everyone at great risk but doing it because it is the right thing to do. The storytelling in The Orphan's Tale alternates between Noa and Astrid, both strong and brave women, who sucked me in with their stories. Noa is the character that I attached myself to the most, she is still a child herself when her world shatters, but she has the courage and tenacity to save Theo and to fight for both of their lives. Astrid is prickly and harder to connect with, but her backstory is more deeply drawn and compelling and although she is reluctant to become close to anyone after all she has lost, she finds herself pulled to and fighting for Noa and Theo. The thing about World War II stories is that you know that things are not going to be happy, or turn out well for all of the characters you have become attached to and The Orphan's Tale is no exception. I read it with my heart in my throat, anticipating and dreading what was sure to come and it brought out all of the feels-making it hard to put down and a bit emotionally exhausting, but worth all of the emotions.   
This is the first book of Pam Jenoff's that I have read--although I have The Kommandant's Girl downloaded on my Kindle and reading The Orphan's Tale is going to move it up my TBR list. I enjoyed her rich storytelling and all of the details about her characters and settings--it is clear she does her research and vividly brings it all to life. Readers who love historical fiction, the WWII time period, circus-set stories and books that touch the heart will love this one--I certainly did.


Author Notes: Pam Jenoff is the author of several novels, including the international bestseller The Kommandant’s Girl, which also earned her a Quill Award nomination. Pam lives with her husband and three children near Philadelphia where, in addition to writing, she teaches law school.

You can connect with Pam on her website, Facebook, Twitter


Food Inspiration:

As it is set in Germany and France during the second World War, food is not particularly plentiful or a focus but there was food in The Orphan's Tale. There were several mentions of breakfast foods like sausage, eggs, toast, rice cereal, porridge, fresh milk, coffee, and orange juice. There was a lot of bread and cheese, or sandwiches of cheese between pieces of brown bread. There was the smell of candy floss and boiled peanuts from the circus and a beer hall tent. There was a roast and gravy dinner and the smell of garlic from Coq Au Vin, contrasted with a watery stew of meat and turnips and onions. There were mentions of chocolate, madeleines, an orange and strawberries--too mottled and green to be ripe, Cognac, Champagne, and little trays of appetizers that were rations arranged to look grand. 

I found my inspiration in a banana. It caught my attention that a banana would be in France during WWII but they were imported to Europe, on ships before the war and it became especially difficult to get once rationing began.

"I'm going into town," I say to Astrid. I hold Theo on my lap, spoon-feeding him the last of his lunch. It is a banana--a rare find by one of the kitchen workers--that I had mashed together with a bit of milk. When Theo first tasted it, his eyes widened with surprise and he gurgled at the unfamiliar richness, so different from the usual bland porridge. Good food for Theo is scarce, since I cannot register him for a ration card without raising questions. So I give him whatever I have for myself to eat that is suitable." 

-The Orphan's Tale 

For my book-inspired dish, I decided to use the banana as a topping for porridge--in this case oatmeal. I confess that although I try to eat oatmeal regularly--usually cold as overnight oats or muesli, it's not a favorite breakfast of mine (I think it's a texture thing) so I look for ways to doctor it up and make it more appealing. Caramelizing the bananas and using them as a topping seemed like a great way to do it. I found a recipe at Pinch of Yum that used coconut oil and maple syrup and made my oats with coconut milk, making this a vegan dish. I forgot to buy slivered almonds so I sprinkled the top with a little flax seed granola for crunch. So this is definitely a more modern, updated porridge than would have been found in those days, but I wanted something that would tempt me. ;-)   

I made a couple of very small changes to the recipe--noted in red below.     

Oatmeal (Porridge) with Caramelized Bananas
Slightly Adapted from
(Serves 2)

1 cup oats or  grain of choice
1 3/4 cups coconut milk
3 bananas, sliced into rounds (I used 4 apple bananas)
¼ cup coconut oil
¼ cup real maple syrup

(I added a pinch of salt)
sprinkle of cinnamon (I used 1/2 tsp of cinnamon)
dash of vanilla

sliced almonds, granola, cinnamon and/or other toppings as desired

Cook the oatmeal according to package directions in coconut milk, or milk of choice.

Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla, and heat until the mixture is lightly bubbling. Add bananas and cook for a few minutes on each side until the bananas are soft and plump.

Remove pan from heat. Stir half of banana mixture & syrup into the oatmeal. Divide oatmeal between two bowls and top with the remaining bananas and a sprinkle of granola, nuts, or any other topping you like. Enjoy!

Notes/Results: This topping could make me eat oatmeal more often. ;-) The maple syrup and soft, creamy bananas really perk up the oatmeal. Cooking the oats in unsweetened coconut milk makes them rich and stirring part of the bananas and their syrup into the oats flavors them throughout. Since both oatmeal and bananas have a soft (some would say mushy) texture, adding the sprinkle of granola on top was a nice contrast. It actually made me happy to eat a bowl of oats. These bananas would also be excellent on top of French Toast or even ice cream. If you don't like bananas, you could use apples or pears instead. I would definitely make these again.  

I'm linking this post up to the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post

Note: A review copy of the "The Orphan's Tales" was provided to me by the publisher, and TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.

You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "Searching for John Hughes" by Jason Diamond, Served Up with Magnolia Bakery's Banana Pudding

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
-Ferris Bueller's Day Off

So, take a minute and stop and look around this post because you won't want to miss today's TLC Book Tour review of Searching for John Hughes: Or Everything I Thought I Needed to Know About Life, I Learned From Watching '80s Movies, a memoir by Jason Diamond. And you especially won't want to miss the recipe I have paired with this book, Magnolia Bakery's Banana Pudding.  

Publisher's Blurb:

For all fans of John Hughes and his hit films such as National Lampoon’s Vacation, Sixteen Candles, and Home Alone, comes Jason Diamond’s hilarious memoir of growing up obsessed with the iconic filmmaker’s movies—a preoccupation that eventually convinces Diamond he should write Hughes’ biography and travel to New York City on a quest that is as funny as it is hopeless.

For as long as Jason Diamond can remember, he’s been infatuated with John Hughes’ movies. From the outrageous, raunchy antics in National Lampoon’s Vacation to the teenage angst in The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink to the insanely clever and unforgettable Home Alone, Jason could not get enough of Hughes’ films. And so the seed was planted in his mind that it should fall to him to write a biography of his favorite filmmaker. It didn’t matter to Jason that he had no qualifications, training, background, platform, or direction. Thus went the years-long, delusional, earnest, and assiduous quest to reach his goal. But no book came out of these years, and no book will. What he did get was a story that fills the pages of this unconventional, hilarious memoir.

In Searching for John Hughes, Jason tells how a Jewish kid from a broken home in a Chicago suburb—sometimes homeless, always restless—found comfort and connection in the likewise broken lives in the suburban Chicago of John Hughes’ oeuvre. He moved to New York to become a writer. He started to write a book he had no business writing. In the meantime, he brewed coffee and guarded cupcake cafes. All the while, he watched John Hughes movies religiously.

Though his original biography of Hughes has long since been abandoned, Jason has discovered he is a writer through and through. And the adversity of going for broke has now been transformed into wisdom. Or, at least, a really, really good story.

In other words, this is a memoir of growing up. One part big dream, one part big failure, one part John Hughes movies, one part Chicago, and one part New York. It’s a story of what comes after the “Go for it!” part of the command to young creatives to pursue their dreams—no matter how absurd they might seem at first.

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (Nov. 29, 2016)

"We're all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that's all." 
-Andrew, The Breakfast Club

My Review: 

It's pretty impossible not to have been entertained, influenced, or both by the movies of John Hughes if you fall into the Generation X world and even if you are younger or older and don't immediately recognize the name, you are bound to recognize many of the titles from his teen films--Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Breakfast Club, Some Kind of Wonderful, and Pretty in Pink and his many other movies such as Mr. Mom, National Lampoon's Vacation and Christmas Vacation, Uncle Buck, the Home Alone series, Miracle on 34th Street, 101 Dalmatians, Planes, Trains and Automobiles... the list goes on and on. I walked into my local coffee house carrying this book and my favorite barista asked me what it was about. As I explained it was the memoir of a writer who was trying to write a book about the filmmaker John Hughes, she wrinkled her (barely 21-year-old) nose and said, "I have no idea who that is!" It only took about three movie names for her to decide that she loved John Hughes's movies. But, as much as I could go on and on with my fondness for Hughes and his films over the years and I begin to quote good sections of them, this book is definitely not a Hughes biography--instead it's the coming-of-age story of writer/editor Jason Diamond, in which his obsession with Hughes's movies and the man behind them shaped his life

If you took time to read the Publisher's Blurb about the book, I want to object to the fact that they called this a "hilarious memoir." It has funny moments for sure but for me, Jason Diamond's story leans firmly to the poignant side rather than the funny. This guy had a pretty crappy childhood with two people who did not deserve to have children. His father was both physically and mentally abusive and although his mother did gain custody of him and stop the visits with his father, she was distant, refused to speak to him as punishment, and ended up moving away and leaving him virtually homeless and hanging out in diners all night or sleeping in friend's closets and on couches while he was in high school. Diamond used John Hughes movies as a way of escaping, relating to their suburban Chicago backdrops and tending to identify with the more quirky and misfit characters in the films. "I wanted to live in a John Hughes film. I wanted everything to turn out just right, and I wanted to feel as though no matter what, if my parents forgot my birthday or if a principal was trying to hold me back, that everything would be fine."  Ultimately his English teacher gives him a place to live and helps instill in him a love of books, reading, and writing. Later, Diamond leaves Chicago for New York, intending on becoming a writer and comes up with a plan to write a biography about Hughes, a process he spends years on that while not resulting in the book he planned, helps him sort and clarify his life and do some growing up. 

Although I signed up for this tour mainly for the John Hughes angle and the humor, I found myself pulled in and often deeply touched by Diamond's story. There are enough quotes, stories, and facts about John Hughes, his films and the complicated man that he was to keep me entertained, along with firmly rooting for Diamond to stop writing what was sounding like the worst biography ever and find his way. Even when bogged down with depression and struggling to get by, Diamond preservers and there is a good message in that. A great book if you grew up in the '80s and '90s and are a fan of John Hughes work, but also just a good, touching (but with some humor) and relatable memoir overall.

Author Notes: Jason Diamond is the sports editor at and founder of Vol. 1 Brooklyn. His work has been published by The New York Times, BuzzFeed, Vulture, The New Republic, The Paris Review, Pitchfork, Esquire, Vice and many other outlets. He was born in Skokie, Illinois, but currently lives in Brooklyn with his wife, his two cats and his dog named Max.

Find out more about Jason at his website, and connect with him on Instagram and Twitter.


There is some food in Searching for John Hughes, including a depressed Jason Diamond teaching himself to cook from old cookbooks, but I found my inspiration for my book-inspired dish within the first dozen pages. When we first meet Diamond, he is the "cupcake bouncer" who guards the door and monitors the line at the Magnolia Bakery in New York. A Sex and the City episode in 2000, made the bakery a popular destination for visitors looking for cupcakes like Miranda and Carrie ate in a scene filmed in front of the store. Having stopped there myself for a brief SATC pilgrimage in 2008, and being pretty unimpressed with their cupcakes (sorry to any fans), when a branch opened in the Ala Moana Shopping Mall here, I felt no urgency to visit--but a friend gave me a container of their banana pudding and I will admit, it was damn good pudding!

The Magnolia Bakery banana pudding scene takes place when Diamond runs into an old classmate and makes up a lie about working there to write an article on cupcakes and why people wait in line for a cupcake they could easily make at home and he is feeling depressed and bitter about his life. 

"As I boarded the already crowded L train at its starting 8th Avenue stop, I looked down at the pint of banana pudding I'd taken with me and all I could think about was how if John Hughes had written this scene, things probably would have gone a lot differently. That was usually how I comforted myself, but it wasn't really working this time. I started spooning the banana pudding into my mouth as the train pulled out of the station. Within five minutes, thanks to a sudden stop and a passenger's bag hitting me at the same second, I was covered in the stuff. Best night ever."
-Searching for John Hughes by Jason Diamond

Turns out that the Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding recipe is in their cookbook and a bunch of places online and it pretty much is only 5 store-bought ingredients + water. It takes minimal effort and some chilling and setting time to get this popular bakery treat at home.  

Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding
From Magnolia Bakery Cookbook, via
(Makes 12 Servings)

1 1/2 cups water
2/3 cup instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
3 cups heavy cream
1 (12-oz) box vanilla wafers
4 bananas, sliced

Mix together the water, pudding mix, and sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight until it sets up.

Whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Working in thirds, fold the whipped cream into the pudding mixture until well incorporated.

In a trifle bowl, layer vanilla wafers, sliced bananas, and pudding mixture; continue until you've used up all the pudding mixture. Refrigerate for at least another 30 minutes before serving.

Notes/Results: This will win no awards in the healthy-eating department but it is quite delicious--light and creamy pudding, the vanilla wafers softening to a cake-like consistency and the bites of juicy, ripe bananas--you can see why its their top selling item. They even have a chocolate version, although I think the original appeals (slight banana pun intended) more. I looked up the prices online--at least here in Hawaii, a small serving is $3.75, medium $5.50, large $6.75, and single bowl that serves 10 is $38.00. So, making it at home is a bargain (even if heavy cream is expensive, like it is here), especially if you catch sales on the ingredients. I made a couple of individual portions and put the rest in a glass bowl/pitcher. I didn't top the larger bowl yet as I need to find it a home so it doesn't live on my hips. ;-) Someday maybe I will attempt a vegan version but heck, I will probably just make this recipe again when I need some pudding comfort and indulgence. 

I'm linking this post up to the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post

Note: A review copy of "Searching for John Hughes" was provided to me by the publisher, Harper Collins and TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.

You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.