Saturday, 4 May 2013

Some Good Brisbane Reads

I'm a sucker for Brisbane history, particularly social history.
I've always enjoyed reading womens' biographies, but if there's anything biographical and based in Brisbane... I'm there.
Researching my Mother's family's history some years ago, has strengthened that need.
My grandmother was from a family of 8, mostly female who were born, lived and died in Brisbane.
I'm linked to this place whether I like it or not!

Some time ago, I saw the news story about the Soldier's Wall in the Red Cross Room in City Hall.
The wall was full of penciled names and service numbers of Servicemen who visited the Red Cross Room, whilst in Brisbane during WW2.

A couple of weeks ago the book The Soldiers' Wall  was launched. The project of Lyris Mitchell, who listed, researched and contacted family members of many of the men who's names are on the wall.
Just in time for Mother's Day, it's on my want list.

Here are some other Brisbane based books
I've enjoyed over the years. Some are now out of print, but still available at Brisbane Libraries.

The Battle of Brisbane, documents the events that led up to the infamous Battle of Brisbane in November 1942. An out of control street brawl between U.S. and Australian servicemen, which saw one of our Servicemen killed by an American M.P. and several others injured. The book touches on life in Brisbane at the time, the lives of some of the men destined to be a part of the brawl, and the ongoing War. As a daughter of a returned Serviceman this was a must for me.

JUNE ADAMSON'S 3 autobiographies are
my favourite books. They span from her chidhood growing up in Newmarket. Then as a young working woman in 1950's Brisbane, then in A Gut Feeling, how her life took an unexpected turn. They are out of print, but available at Brisbane Libraries. I've been trying to find 2nd hand copies to own for so long!
Lucky Legs and Sugar Rushes
Don't Rock The Boat - Female In the Fifities
A Gut Feeling

The Sicilian Kitchen by Michelle  Di'Bartolo
is a gorgeous book, biographical of her Sicilian family who emigrated to Brisbane, an adventure when she travels back to find her roots in Sicily, and a cookbook sharing family recipes. If you have a best friend who lives in her this book!

Of course one cannot go past a Brisbane Murder story, we have a few for such a young city.

Just last year came a book about Brisbane's seedy nightclub scene in the 70's including the tragic Whiskey A Go Go fire

It's a good read. I downloaded the Kindle version with no pics, so I'd like to grab a look at the paperback version as well.

Finally I found this while I was researching our family history a while back. It's quite a comprehensive study of some of the inner streets and suburbs of Brisbane
The Streets Of Brisbane.

And if you really want to read an interesting long piece of Brisbane History, you can download the Fitzgerald Enquiry report HERE

Thanks for visiting - Jen.


  1. I too saw part of that news story, sounded fascinating. Hope the kids come through for your Mother's Day gift, ha. Both my Aussie grandparents came from large families of 8 and 10 kids.

    1. The part photo of the house is where they lived (we think according to records & my late Mother). The original house was tiny. Very sadly, 2 of the children died, as with a lot of families back then.
      Yep if I ring Council, find out where, tell them where, prob get Hubbie to pick it up, then I should get it for Mother's Day lol.

  2. I've read a lot of those titles Jen.One of Jack Sim's books has a chapter on the murder of Jack Cooper (manager at the National hotel)at Stafford. Recently I wrote a post about going to his widow's 90th birthday.

    1. I'll have a look Maria. I'm quite looking forward to the new book,I'm ringing council tomorrow to see where it's being sold other than online at the publisher's.

  3. Hi Jen,
    Thanks for visiting my blog .. I've tried out one of the paint colours and will post on it soon. Looking forward to exploring your blog too. I also love history, particularly local history. All the best, Fiona

    1. Thanks Fiona, I'm planning on buying some, but have to find a new project. I've just finished a white Dresser for the Dining Room, unfortunately the paint hadn't arrived when I did it lol.

  4. The Gatton Murders sounds intriguing! We're Lockyer Valley based so might have to look out for that one...

    1. It is Edwina (love your blog btw) it was quite a horrific crime for sleepy old Gatton. I'm sure some of your older locals might have their theories handed down from the last generation :-)

  5. Another nice one is Time Out For Living by Estelle Pinney.

    1. That's something I'd really enjoy - I'll keep an eye out for it Bree - Thanks!
      My Father was engaged to a Peggy (I read the blurb) before the War, she dumped him while he was serving - I wonder lol.


I love reading your comments, and I'm very happy to help you with any questions about my patterns. The comments are moderated only to stop spam mail coming through, so your comment will be published as soon as I get a chance to check them - thanks Jen.