Books and Beers: The Lost Family Edition


Hi Book Friends!

Many of you know I have such a strong love for the Bookstagram (Instagram for Books!) Community and this is one of the reasons why: the amazing Stacey from Prose_and_Palate reached out to me a few weeks ago and asked if she could pass along my name to participate in The Lost Family Supper Club hosted by and Harper Books, I immediately said YES because who could ever say no to Stacey?! Also, I was completely intrigued by the event. So what is The Lost Family Supper Club? It is virtual dinner party in which Food bloggers and Book bloggers share recipes inspired by the novel- The Lost Family by Jenna Blum. I’ll include a synopsis of the novel below. The virtual dinner party is TODAY! And we are celebrating the upcoming release of The Lost Family out  June 5th! To see who else is participating and what culinary creations they have brought to the table check out this link: The Lost Family Supper Club

This novel is jammed pack with some many descriptive references to food that it was hard for me to select one thing I’d bring to the table. However it occurred to me that I’d never show up to a dinner without BEER- because we all know BOOKS AND BEERS ARE MY JAM! I was tempted to create various cocktails, along with beers, mentioned in the book but decided I need to actually cook something as well because “bookclubcookbook” kinda implies an attempt to cook something hahaha. I am so glad I did! Check out my Instagram for an action shot of me preparing these.  It was only natural to land on pairing a delicious cold german beer with homemade pretzels, which are mentioned in the novel. I’d envision these pretzels could be sold outside of Masha’s, the main protagonist’s restaurant. While making the pretzels I often thought back to a particular scene in the novel between Sol and Peter. How perfectly the novel portrays the complexity of family dynamics. This novel will have you going hungry not only for all the food mentioned but for the plot and it’s characters. This is the first book I’ve read by Jenna Blum and I definitely planning to read her other novels.

I give all credit to for the recipe on how to make these Buttery Soft Pretzels. This recipe was very easy to follow!

Beer Pairing: Paulaner Hefe-Weizen – best served really cold! I am not typically a Hefe-Weizen fan because of the forward wheat taste however, I do really enjoy this one. It’s on the lighter side and great for a hot summer day.

The Lost Family Synopsis from the Harper Collins Website:

The New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us creates a vivid portrait of marriage, family, and the haunting grief of World War II in this emotionally charged, beautifully rendered story that spans a generation, from the 1960s to the 1980s.

In 1965 Manhattan, patrons flock to Masha’s to savor its brisket bourguignon and impeccable service and to admire its dashing owner and head chef Peter Rashkin. With his movie-star good looks and tragic past, Peter, a survivor of Auschwitz, is the most eligible bachelor in town. But Peter does not care for the parade of eligible women who come to the restaurant hoping to catch his eye. He has resigned himself to a solitary life. Running Masha’s consumes him, as does his terrible guilt over surviving the horrors of the Nazi death camp while his wife, Masha—the restaurant’s namesake—and two young daughters perished…


New Year New Books! Yay 2017

A friend of mine recently asked me to list the top five books that I am looking forward to reading in 2017. First I need to add that the book world (authors and publishing companies) have been killing it lately with some amazing books. It seems to me that every year brings about a set of new books that must be added to book shelves everywhere. With that being said something as simple as “tell me the top five books your looking forward to reading in 2017” is made not so simple. There are so many great books hitting bookshelves this year! Here is my small list that was no small feat to compile:  

1. Difficult Women By Roxane Gay (Published January 3, 2017) The title alone of this short story collection says enough to make you want to pick it up and read it. You may recognize the name Roxane Gay from the New York Times Bestselling essay collection Bad Feminist. In addition to Difficult Women, Gay will also have Hunger: A Memoir coming out that tackles her relationship with food, weight, self-image, and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself”. Do yourself a favor and make it a 2017 new years resolution to read a book by Roxane Gay! Not into non-fiction? She writes fiction as well
2. Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel By Jesmyn Ward (To be published September 5, 2017) I have waited oh so long for a new novel by Jesmyn Ward. She marveled and shocked me with her lyrical storytelling in Salvage the Bones. Not to mentioned she graced the world with The Fire This Time, inspired by James Baldwin’s 1963 examination of race in America, The Fire Next Time. Ward is a powerful writer to be read. 
3. Men Without Women By Haruki Murakami (To be published May 9, 2017) What can I say about Murakami that another book lover wouldn’t say? Murakami is a Japanese novelist that has had his work translated into 50 languages. He is often a contender for the Nobel Peace Prize in Literature and has written well over 20 books (fiction and non-fiction). He is the “damn Daniel” of books! And he’s back at it again with this new story collection. Is it May yet?  
4. The Refugees By Viet Thanh Nguyen (To be published February 7, 2017) Given the current state of our country this one could not possibly be more important to read. The Refugees is a new collection of stories “written over a period of twenty years, exploring questions of immigration, identity, love, and family”. I am a new reader to Viet Thanh Nguyen but an eager one and I absolutely cannot wait to read this one. 
5. Lucky Boy By Shanthi Sekaran (Published January 10, 2017) Last but not least and one that I have actually gotten to read this year is Lucky Boy. A tale inspired by the true hardships that many undocumented immigrants face living in America and at it’s core explores motherhood. It is beautifully written and although I finished it weeks ago, the characters and story still lingers in my mind.
*BONUS* Any and every reader should do themselves a favor and dip into the Young Adult book world. Every year I like to add a few YA reads to my list of books to read. Here are two 2017 YA reads I am SUPER excited to read:
All links provided direct you to Politics and Prose, one of my favorite local bookstores in the DC area. Do the world a favor and support your local bookstore! They need you as much as you need them, not to mention booksellers make the best book recommendations AND if you are lucky like we are in the DC area, your local bookstores serve wine and beer 😉 Shout out to Politics and Prose AND KramerBooks.

Skittles Are Ruined For Me!


The Widow By Fiona Barton

Jean Taylor is the recent widow of Glen Taylor, the most hated man in town accused of a hideous crime. Upon Glen’s sudden death, Jean is left on her own to fend off reporters scrounging to get the exclusive interview of a lifetime.

When reporter Kate Waters knocks on Jean’s door she expects to be turned down like every other reporter in town but for some odd reason Jean lets her in.

The Widow is a psychological thriller like no other! Often stacked with The Girl On The Train or Gone Girl this thriller stands firmly on it’s own as a heart stopping, page turning read.

I personally enjoyed it and found it haunting because Fiona Barton weaves through different narrators and leaves room for the readers imagination to wander; to deep and dark places along with the characters. As for the skittles packet, you’ll have to read for yourself…..

This thriller will be coming to a bookstore near you FEBRUARY 16, 2016! For more information on The Widow check out Penguin Random House and Goodreads.

A special thanks to Berkley/NAL publishing for sending me a copy to read!

Welcome and an explanation as to why I decided to start a book blog when 25 million* already exist:

*Unverified number that may be overtly optimistic #BookLoversMaketheWorldGoRound

Hi and Welcome to Lupita Reads- a blog extension born of my bookish Instagram posts. Lupita Reads first started as a hashtag I would use when I would post about a book I was currently reading in my personal Instagram. Later with a shift in my geographical location and a change in my employment status (aka time on my hands to break free from a 9-5 and enjoy the things I loved to do) I had a thought- Why not expand Lupita Reads to more then a hashtag! Why not share it with the world?! Little did I know when I finally created my Instagram, there were already a ton of bookish Instagram in the world. This entire time I thought I was the only one in my small little private bubble of Instagram sharing all my beautiful reads. I was thrilled and the bookish Instagram community welcomed Lupita Reads with open arms.

That being said the question still remains, what does Lupita Reads have to offer, that other book blogs don’t? Its not what others are lacking more so about what’s still left to be read and said about amazing reads!

Most importantly, there’s a unfilled need within me to connect to anyone interested in discussing books and with this blog I hope to be able to connect with all of you out there on the inter webs and hear your thoughts on the books I’ll be reviewing and recommending.

So with that in mind, tell me something about you in the comment section! What are you reading? If you aren’t reading something, why aren’t you reading? and what does reading mean to you?

Hasta Pronto,