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HIST & MYTH: Tlachtga and Samhain

Post 242 Written by Ben Kesp 
The end of another seasonal cycle is fast approaching and we are all getting ready to celebrate the ancient festival of Samhain. There is no other place in Ireland or the world more associated to the festival of Samhain than at Tlachtga or the “Hill of the Ward”, located near Athboy in Co. Meath, Ireland, twelve miles from the Hill of Tara. This is an ancient archaeological site which saw a big excavation dig in the summer of 2014 and like Tara the earthen works are most impressive by air. 
It was on this hill over two thousand years ago that saw the birth of Samhain which would later become better known as Halloween. In Irish Mythology, Tlachtga is the daughter of Mud Ruith a powerful druid and sun god. He is a figure of immense power and could grow to great sizes and his breath could turn people to stone! Not someone you would want to cross! According to myth and the tales that are retold, Tlachtga travelled with her father Mug Ruith to Italy to study un…
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LITERATURE: Mondays Book Talk

Post 241.  Mondays Book Talk: Series 6 
Written by Ben Kesp The Golden Age Dawns by Gabriel Woods
I was given The Golden Age Dawns to read a few months ago and I was not sure what to expect from this paranormal adventure written by author Gabriel Woods. The Golden Age Dawns is book one of a trilogy exploring the societies across Europe that are crumbling under disease and destruction which has been spread to the continent by unseen and evil forces. Life on earth is not as people believe it to be. A fierce unseen cosmic battle is taking place between two great alien powers and the human race is caught in the middle. 

Woods has told an interesting and compelling story. It’s fast paced with plenty of action that pulls the reader in to see what will happen next. The story contains multiple characters and each has been selected to fulfil their destined path to help in saving or destroying the human race. Developing multiple characters can be difficult and can prevent connection to the emotion…

LITERATURE: The Top 10 from 5 Years

Post 240  Written by Ben Kesp
The Literature & Culture Corner Blog celebrates its 5th birthday this October so I am sharing the top 10 most read posts over the last five years. Remember the blog is open to contributors who wish to share their passion for culture and heritage, be interviewed on a related topic or to showcase a new book or publication. 

Just a reminder to let you know that you can publish, share and gain exposure on this blog for your interests on culture, history, literature, poetry, flash fiction and mythology. For more on contributing, check out the Submissions Page on the Ben Kesp Website
With over 80K views and 240 posts, the following are the top ten in order of the most read:
#1 Exploring Ireland’s Ancient Tombs #2 One City – Two Cathedrals: Part 1 Christ Church #3 Mondays Book Talk – Call from an Angel by Guillame Musso #4 Revisiting the Tuatha Dé Danann #5 Blog’s 4th Birthday #6 Mondays Book Talk – The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker #7 Rev…

LITERATURE: Mondays Book Talk

Post 239. 
Mondays Book Talk: Series 6
Guest Talk byMikeH Down: Pinhole (Down #1)by Glenn Cooper 
DOWN: Pinhole is the first instalment of an explosive new trilogy by international bestselling author, Glenn Cooper


John Camp is a former military officer and heads security at a super-collider tunnel around London. He is in a relationship with Emily Loughty, the director of the collider program. On the day of the first collider test run, John is there for security purposes and watches Emily disappear and a rough-looking man appears in her place who turns out to be an English serial killer sentenced and executed in 1949. 
John heads up the team to find the mysterious killer who fled from the laboratory. In great despair, John volunteers to reproduce the experiment by placing himself in the same spot where Emily disappeared with the hope of finding her and bringing her back. The story takes off from this point and switches between the present and “Down” a place named so by its infamous inhabi…

CULTURE: The Liberation of a Nation with a Handful of Salt

Post 238  Guest Post writtenby Gabriel Woods 
Indian people often spoke to me about their struggle for independence as if they had been liberated last year. I think possibly they knew this was an immediate link between me as an Irish person and themselves. I found that an Indian person was an expert at mentioning a subject they might have in common with you. Irish and Indian independence was then a subject that I often found myself talking about. Possibly this was because India only gained independence in 1947, a not so distant historical achievement when I backpacked throughout India in 2000. I was backpacking, not on a tour bus and I was separate from the local people. I found many Indian people that were really fascinating. At times I thought people that came from my country were bland in comparison because Indian culture was so new to me.
What I did not understand was the leader of Indian independence, Mahatma Gandhi, was very rarely mentioned. In the Western world, people revered …

LITERATURE: Mondays Book Talk

Post 237.  Mondays Book Talk: Series 6 
Guest Talk by Dule Savic The Secret Letters of the Monk who sold his Ferrariby Robin Sharma

Our lives consist of work, work, and work. We cannot comprehend how difficult that reflects on our life, our connection with friends and family. Two questions we have to ask ourselves: When is it enough? When is the right time to turn the page and start a new life where we could enjoy ourselves without any restrictions? Life is about small things, not big events. 
The secret letters of the Monk who sold his Ferrari” is exactly a book that some of us definitely need to read because it will open our eyes toward new destinations. Robin Sharma puts us into the character of Jonathan Landry, marketing sales executive who wants to succeed in life for the price of family, health and his personal life. He forgets how to live as he has only one thing in his mind – work will put me in the place that I always wanted to be, without fear of my future or that of my famil…

LITERATURE: A Catch Up!

Post 236  It has been a while since I have written an update for the Literature & Culture Corner Blog so I thought this might be a good time as the blog approaches its 5th birthday in October. This is a blog dedicated to all things culture, with the main focus on history, mythology and literature. Since its beginning in 2012, the core of this blog has not changed. The blog is open to contributors who wish to share their passion for culture and heritage, be interviewed on a related topic or to showcase a new book or publication. The aim of the Culture & Literature Corner Blog is to accumulate a collection of history, myths, folklore, book discussions, authors and more in one place. 
Mondays Book Talkwill return on Monday the 2nd of October with series six and will open with a very interesting book called "The Secret Letters of the Monk who sold his Ferrari" by author Robin Sharma. You can find the previous 5 series of Mondays Book Talk on this blog under the Literature…