Updike’s Terrorist pretty meh, Michael Jackson gone actually really sad, veggie tart really OM NOM NOM

I just finished reading:

for my book club and to be honest, I walked away disappointed. I wanted to like this book, the praise on the cover was pretty impressive, and I’d never really read Updike before so I was expecting great things- but it was so frustrating.

The book is about a young boy whose Muslim father left when he was young (before he could even get to know him) and his Irish mother raised him. At 11 years old he decides he wants to become Muslim and learn more about the faith. His whole interaction with his religion brings him into a mess of terrorism in post 9/11 New Jersey. Half of the time while reading I wanted to say: “Come onnnn”. I felt like they didn’t give an objective view of Islam- Updike just wrote this meh story trying to shed light on how young men could be convinced and manipulated into the kind of belief system that would allow for terrorism.
He did a really shitty job with the subject matter. It’s too heavy an issue to only give one side. He tried to give perspective by having the imam seem somewhat inquisitive about his beliefs and by juxtaposing the main character to his Jewish guidance councilor- but the selections from the Koran were in my opinion horrible choices as they would immediately put anyone from Western society on the defensive- instead of allowing them to question and understand more fully the main characters’ devotion to his beliefs. You feel like this kid is a blind follower, idolizing his missing father instead of giving any legitimacy to the faith. GAH!

(Not to mention we’ve read WAY too many religion soaked / 9/11 related books so far this year in the club. GEEZUS)

In other news, bear with me here as I know you’ve heard this a million times by now, Michael Jackson of course has died and yes, it really does make me sad :(

Did he do weird and creepy things? Yes. But I really don’t give a shit about his personal life. He was an incredible singer, dancer, performer… all around artist. I was really stoked that he had this comeback tour coming up and that he was going to be performing again. I think he did a metric shit ton for music and I was nosey to see what he’d have up his sleeve. We NEED artists like him, because let’s be honest mainstream music ain’t so hot right now. You go to the lesser known goodies for your slice of music pie.

So if you’re tired of hearing about it, I’m sorry. I’m just kinda “dammit!” about it. I really dug his tunes. R.I.P. King of Pop.

In other news, I’m always up for trying tasty treats. I found a recipe online for a “Summer Vegetable Tart” (apparently 300 calories a slice) and it’s DELICIOUS. I just like the versatility of this dish because you can switch it up depending on what’s in season. Deeeeeee-li-cious!

Recipe can be found here.

Veggie Tart-

For more photos of my culinary adventures and this tart head to my Culinary Exploit section.



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4 Responses to “Updike’s Terrorist pretty meh, Michael Jackson gone actually really sad, veggie tart really OM NOM NOM”

  1. Tova Says:

    I haven’t read Terrorist but I’ve got it. Will eventually come around to reading it but Chris had a similar reaction to you. The prose is good- subject matter is mediocre. But you should definitely read the Rabbit series; his talents utilized in a much better way plus they’re very timely (being set in the 50s, then 60s, then 80s etc), all pre 9/11 (seems like you need an escape).

  2. Kayla Hillier Says:

    Good to know because I was all “why are people so sure he’s the bee’s knees?”
    I’ll hop on the rabbit trolley. I still have to read Wetlands too.

    I have this silly rule that I have to finish what I own before I get to buy anything else. I’m kinda almost there haha

  3. arthur Says:

    I was dumbfounded by MJs passing. Floored. Who’s Lovin’ You is one of my faves ever. When I had my guitar I’d usually belt I want you back as my warm up. I just hope people respect his legacy and not focus on the controversies.

  4. Kayla Hillier Says:

    I think that’s what they’re trying to do. I just hope his cause of death doesn’t make matters worse. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that nothing weird or controversial is found now that he’s gone because that will tarnish his whole epic life.

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