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Showing posts from November, 2015

LITERATURE: Mondays Book Talk

Post 108. Written by Ben Kesp

The Girl who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

For those who could not get enough from book I in the Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson, well a page turner awaits for you in book II, “The Girl who Played with Fire”. 

Millennium publisher Mikael Blomkvist, investigates sex trafficking in Sweden and cannot resist the challenge of exposing the figures behind the industry, after two of his friends are murdered. Shortly afterwards, Lisbeth Salander’s legal guardian is found dead. A major police hunt throughout Sweden begins to track Salander who becomes accused of all three murders. Her whereabouts cannot be located however Mikael Blomkvist is the only person who is able to make contact with her. 
The pace of this book is phenomenal. It will have your turning page after page. From the beginning the book grabs your interest and pulls you right in. It left me wishing I would never reach the end. Larsson has created intricate detail in character development and ba…

CULTURE: Día de los Muertos - The Day of the Dead

Post 107.

Guest Post: Written by MikeH Día de los Muertos

Although many things have been said and written about Dia de los Muertos, my goal of this article is to share with you some key facts about this ancient three-day colorful celebration that runs from October 31st to November 2nd. It is an integral part of Mexican identity and culture. 

For me this celebration is all about keeping our ancestors’ memories and allowing them to remain alive with us. Even though Día de los Muertos was not as exciting for me as Christmas or the Three Wise Men day, I appreciated as a child growing up, being able to learn about our ancient customs, at home and also at school. Even today it plays a large role in Mexican schools where contests take place to choose the best and most original altar. This encourages children to participate and giving them an understanding of this practice.

Let me begin by giving you an overview of on the origin of this colorful festivity. Dia de los Muertos, in English the Day o…

LITERATURE: Mondays Book Talk

Post 106. Written by Ben Kesp.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson 
If crime is your thing, then the Millennium Trilogy is certainly for you. It is dark, full of intrigue and a guaranteed page turner that will leave you wanting more. 
The work belongs to Stieg Larsson, born in 1954 who was a leading expert on anti-democratic, right-wing extremist and Nazi organisations. He died suddenly in 2004 shortly after delivering the manuscripts for three crime novels to his publisher.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first novel to make up the Millennium Trilogy. The story follows two main characters, Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist. Blomkvist, a publisher of the Swedish political magazine Millennium, takes on an assignment from Henrik Vanger, retired CEO of the Vanger Corporation. Blomkvist is to investigate the disappearance of Harriet Vanger who vanished without trace 36 years earlier. Open up your world to the mysterious Salander, a security analyst, hacker and un…

LITERATURE: The Power of Writing

Post 105. Written by Ben Kesp. 

The Power of Writing - an expression we have heard many times. 
Considering it in further detail, writing is a powerful form of communication, a release from our soul. For those that cannot communicate easily or find ourselves in a situation/event so dark it has clouded all clarity, burying us in a bottomless pit, the pen can show us a way out. 

A blank page that awaits our very thoughts and ideas allowing a sense of relief. Depressive thoughts can pull down the most powerful of minds, heavy, blocking out all light, quenching the spark of life. We are unable to speak not knowing where to begin. Writing can be a powerful tool, a way out, an opening of a doorway, in that dark pit allowing the light of positive thought to break through. 
Be it in poetry, stories, our thoughts, it is a powerful art of communication portraying hidden messages and internal conflicts releasing indirectly for all to read. The power of writing can help bring clarity, heal, dir…

LITERATURE: To Dream a Dream

Post 104.  Written by Ben Kesp 

We grow, we learn, we love, we work, we stop, we dream, a dream that ignites our passion, sparks new life within. 
A dream to live a dream is at times like catching a falling star. Is it impossible? Do you know who has caught a falling star? Perhaps we raise our expectations too high, they become unreachable, too far out for us to reel in. 
Do we believe in that dream? The one that rests, earnestly waiting to be pursued. 
Can it be turned into a reality? To give up on our dreams and aspirations is turning a part of our very being off, resigning to a life of the mundane with no expectations. 
Dreams are our fantasies. Dreams bring us powerful messages and some, just some can become reality if we allow ourselves to grow beyond what we are and truly become who we were born to be. 
Is life not for learning, developing and growing? If it is, why deny ourselves that beautiful privilege? Love our dreams and fear our regrets. 
Image: From

LITERATURE: Mondays Book Talk

Post 103.  Written by Ben Kesp 
The Secret Chamber by Patrick Woodhead 

Patrick Woodhead was someone I had not heard of before I was given his book as a Christmas present, so I was interested in reading his short bio contained within. He is a professional climber who is also a team member of the White Desert Company. The White Desert Company arranges adventure expeditions to the Antarctica, where you are flown in comfort and style to the comfortably designed campsite in the wilds of the South Pole. If you are interested in learning more about them, visit their website at White Desert Adventures. Who knows a trip to the Antarctica might just be the thing you need to get away from the bustle of everyday life! 

The Secret Chamber is set in the Congo, Africa and is centred on two main characters. Luca Matthews a professional climber who travels to the Congo to rescue his best friend, a doctor who has gone missing, while working there. Beatrice Makuru a mining expert is sent into the Co…

LITERATURE: The Witch of Ballyvale

Post 102.  Written by Ben Kesp
From gods to witches, other worlds to the past, November has seen the beginning of a new monthly serial called the “Witch of Ballyvale” and the ending of the “Guardian - Tale of the Gods”. The Guardian - Tale of the Gods will now be completed, edited and will have an expected publication date in 2016. I thank readers for following each month and I hope you will enjoy the new up and coming story. Please remember comments as always are welcome. 

The Witch of Ballyvale has seen its opening this month and Part I follows. A new part will be added each month to the Monthly Serial Page. Remember the monthly serials are a work in progress, unedited and for your enjoyment. 
The Witch of Ballyvale 
This story is for a general audience 
Part I 
Written November 2015
The shouts overwhelm her. Strong hands grip her body, shoving her onto the damp sands.  The same hands drag her through the cold sandy ground. She fears the oncoming waters. Placing her feet under her o…

LITERATURE: Mondays Book Talk

Post 101. Written by Ben Kesp

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper 

The Last of the Mohicans is a book I had wanted to read with sometime. I am a fan of the 1992 movie that sees Daniel Day Lewis and Madeline Stowe give powerful performances of the main characters Hawkeye and Cora Munroe. The book written by James Fenimore Cooper is the second of five novels published between 1823 and 1841 which were collectively known as the “Leatherstocking Tales”. The books feature the character “Natty Bumppo” or better known as Hawkeye, a frontiersman who finds himself in various adventures with Native American Indians and European settlers. 

The Last of the Mohicans is set between 1756 and 1763 during the time of the English/French wars with the Native American Indians siding with the French. A small group of English soldiers are accompanying Cora and Alice, the two daughters of the English General Munroe led by Magua of the Huron Indian tribe to Fort William Henry. Magua deceives th…

LITERATURE: 100th Post - An Update

Post 100. Written by Ben Kesp
Seeing that this is the 100th post on my “History/Mythology and Literature Blog” I thought it right to have a ramble on where life has taken me and to say thanks to you the reader. 2015 has been an eventful year to date and still there is life left in it! Currently I am in Barcelona on the north east coast of Spain. A city of history, unique architecture, tapas bars, beaches, parks and spaces. What more is missing? 

Barcelona is a city that seems to have it all and its energy is calm and peaceful. Its old town oozes with charm, its long narrow winding streets hide its history, oblivious to the visitor or resident roaming today. Antoni Gaudí, the famed architect has given the city its unique buildings, parks and structures, the most notable the Sagrada Família that is still incomplete! What of Enriqueta Martí, the infamous child killer, prostitute and witch who softens the edge on Jack the ripper! What ever tales are told of her today, I must be objective…

LITERATURE: Mondays Book Talk

Written by Ben Kesp
The Black Houseby Peter May

The Black House by Peter May is a captivating story and one I enjoyed reading. May was born in Glasgow and began his writing career as a journalist for The Scotsman and the Glasgow Evening Times.  His first book ‘The Reporter’ was published when he was 26 years old. May was asked to adapt the book for the BBC and left journalism and wrote full time for television. May has written many successful drama series and his novels have won him prestigious awards like the Prix des Lecteurs (readers’ prise). 

The Black House is the first book in ‘The Lewis Trilogy’ and was first published in France and won the French national literature award in October 2011. The story follows Detective Inspector Fin Macleod who is sent from Edinburgh to the Isle of Lewis (Hebrides, Scotland) to investigate a brutal killing. For Fin Macleod returning to the Isle of Lewis is more than a murder investigation, it is a journey into his childhood, a past that he has…