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Writers are readers too.

I am more than a writer, I am a reader too.

Reading is not only part of what I do but is in my blood. To imagine a world without reading is to imagine the end of the world. Reading keeps me sane, educates me, introduces me to new authors and worlds, inspires me and strengthens my job as writing/publishing consultant and author. I read for work purposes every day but I still find time to read for pleasure every night. Reading a few chapters of a book before bed ends my day with contentment and helps me sleep.

As part of my writing I review what I read.

So what have I just finished reading?

A Ragbag of Tales and Verses by Ian Lipke

Publisher - In House Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-925732-72-6

Of his poetry, Lipke writes, ‘Most of the verses will upset the modern poetry enthusiasts who prefer that a poem not rhyme. They would see rhyme as a self-imposed obstacle to free thought.’ Regardless of your view on the structure of today’s poetry, Lipke presents rhyme that, although not as deep as some would like, entertains and amuses. There were times that I felt the rhythm of the poem was lost but the Australian content, humour and emotion carries it through. In ‘A Housewife’s Lament’ (pg.32), Lipke tries to capture the emotions of the housewife, failing - seeing them from a man’s world.

Short stories take us places, if only for a brief moment. Within A Ragbag of Tales and Verses Lipke provides a collection of stories that, as a whole, take us on a journey to various locations, whilst as individuals present us with situations that at times move us but on all occasions are easily related to. In his forward Lipke writes of this collection being ‘the work of almost twenty years’, a time span which has seen him produce other works of fiction. His collection of short stories shows his growth as an author over this period with some stories showing more strength and maturity in writing style than others. “A Matter of Matrimony’ (pg95) presents us with a short story taken from his writing of his novel Nargun, telling the story of two indigenous people from different mobs.

The straight to the point, laid back larrikin nature of Lipke’s writing is a fresh welcoming touch to the art of short story. From the first story, ‘Charlie’, where the reader finds themselves in the tropical rainforest of North Queensland with keen fisherman Bill and his wife Sheila - no better an Aussie name - to the final story, ‘Where are you now?’, where the loss of love grabs the emotions with the finding of new love tearing at the heartstrings, A Ragbag of Tales and Verses provides a literary piece that lends itself to being read from beginning to end or as a story or poem during a brief moment of serenity.

Overall, A Ragbag of Tales and Verses gives, to the reader, a collection of stories and poems that, although they do not show the strength of that of the great classics and poets, provide a taste of Australia, presented in short story narration, by an author who understands the harshness and beauty of Australia. In his poetry, Lipke provides a variety of subject and depth, from humorous to serious to structured and free thinking, that touches the emotions, giving thought to life. A Ragbag of Tales and Verses is basic and simplistic whilst standing true to the genre of Australian short story fiction.

What am I currently reading?

Dark Waters by TW Lawless.

Review coming soon...

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