Books,  Just Life

I’m the KING of the world…

An ode to my enternal love for Titanic. Oh, how I love that movie.

Okay, anyway, in a very music blog-y sort of way, I’ve done a play on the title of my post according to the subject of the post. Anyway, the reason I’m in a music blog-y type of mood, is because, I have finally discovered how to stream songs on here, and, believe it or not, it’s not that hard. Strangely enough, I had such an epiphany in the car ride coming home from the beach. But that’s aside from the point.

You’re probably wondering where I get the whole king thing from and where I tie it all up in a nice bow with the music blog-y thing.

Well, cease to wonder.

Just today (yesterday by the time I finish this. For some reason, blog posts take me significant hours to post, which is why I should never have a blog) I finished my second summer reading book, King Leopold’s Ghost.

[Cue the “aha!”s]

While a slightly (okay, incredibly) boring read, I originally thought that it would read like a textbook, but in some weird way, it really doesn’t. It’s not as painless a read as the things that are more up my ally (Entertainment Weekly, for example), but not everything can be, right? Occassionally, you have to endure the 306-page history lesson. And I bet a good portion of those who read this have never even heard of the subject on which this book is based.

Ever heard of the Congo in Africa (Zaire, today, I guess)?

Okay, good.

Ever heard of Belgium in West Europe.

Okay, I’d hope so.

Ever heard of King Leopold II, cousin of Queen Victoria of England?

Okay, that’s a bit tougher.

Ever heard of the mass killings inflicted upon native Africans at the turn of the 20th Century in King Leopold’s own personal colony, the Congo Free State, due to forced labor, especially when it came to gathering ivory and rubber?

Yeah, didn’t think so. (But kudos to you if you have. You already know the basis of the book. Now go out and read it!)

Ever heard of rubber being tapped from vines, like maple syrup is tapped from trees?
Yeah, me neither! Who knew?!

Anyway, the auther, Adam Hochschild, has a strange way of turning the whole ordeal into the resemblance of an actual book, by creating all these characters, and actually making a story out of them.
It’s an okay book, I’ll admit, and I recommend it to those who a) want to learn more on the subject, b) like world history, or c) want to take a nap, as reading this book led me into some wonderful naps.

The only problem I had with this book was the constant jumping in time. First it would be 1904, and he would go back to something that happened in 1890, and then he’d cite an example from 1907, and all the while, I’d just be like, “Okay.” Actually, it was more of an “Okayyyyy???”

Anyway, I now have just one more book to read, Jane Eyre, which is like twice the size of this, but really the only “real” book, with dialogue. (Oh, how I long for dialogue right now.) But I’ve heard that it’s “boredom on ice.” Awesome!

So on to the more fun portion of this post: the music part. As I mentioned before, I finally taught myself how to stream songs, so now I can include some nice tunes for your listening pleasure! Yay!

In keeping with the “king” theme and also with the music blog theme, here is a nice king-inspired tune….

Now onto what I hope will become a weekly feature. It’s basically just the few songs that I have on continued replay. This week, there a few, which include:

[MP3] Hummingbird – Wilco. Off of the album, A Ghost is Born, this is a lovely song with quite a few hooks. Sounds like it came straight from You’ve Got Mail. I think it’s the lead singer’s voice, but who knows. Maybe it’s just me.
[MP3] 1234 – Feist. It’s a shame that I had to be lowered to the level of finding out about this song via VH1’s “You Oughta Know” feature. Like, am I seriously that out of the loop? Perhaps it is the summer heat. Anyway, this is a fun, little tune, off of Feist’s most recent album, The Reminder. that I like to think of a hopscotch song. You can check out the music video here.
[MP3] Australia (Peter Bjorn & John Remix) – The Shins. Usually, I’m not that fond of remixes, but this one is just so great, that perhaps I’ll have to reform my opinion on the subject. It’s not too weird, as remixes can sometimes get. And it’s not too techno, like it should be played in an Abercrombie & Fitch store. Really, it’s just a neat variation on the song from The Shins’ latest album, Wincing the Night Away. Check it out.

And there you have it.

Happy listening, everyone!

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