Thursday, 21 February 2013

Review: Beyond the Ladies' Lounge: Australian Women Publicans

Beyond the Ladies' Lounge: Australian Women Publicans
Beyond the Ladies' Lounge: Australian Women Publicans by Clare Wright

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Some books, you can just tell they're a thesis turned into publishable form. That's not a criticism (especially not coming from me), it's just that published theses read differently to popular history. And it just makes me wonder (a little) how this got into our library collection. Because it's on an odd topic and it's not by a big publisher.

But anyway: I'm really glad I stumbled across this book. It's a history (thematic rather than narrative) of women publicans, particularly in Victoria. Wright traces the history of Australia and women publicans through legislation, social acceptance, literary portrayal, and political influence. I've got some literary theory issues with that particular chapter, and it's fairly clear that Clare Wright's feminism is not my feminism, but all the same, it's an interesting and thoroughly readable book that challenges some of the suppositions around the history of pubs in Australia.

That said, I'd now love to read a history of the Ladies Lounge and the place of women in Australia's drinking culture. Anyone know a good one?

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Wednesday Reads's still Wednesday in the USA, so it counts, right?

What I'm reading now:

Still on The Glory Garage.  It's really not the book I expected and yet it's kind of totally the book I expected.  I know, right?

Also Master Race: The Lebensborn experiment in Nazi Germany which arrived in Stock Rotation at work the other day, and I've almost finished A Rogue's Proposal properly, instead of just by skimming.

What I've just finished reading:

War of Honor, number 10 in the Honor Harrington series.  I've got to get David Weber credit for a book with "War" in the title where the actual war only starts in the last 100 pages.  Of 700-odd.  It was good, although I hope Giancola comes to a messy end.

I finished The Bastard King by Jean Plaidy less than an hour ago.  My GF asked me last night what book I was reading, and when I told her the title she asked "which one?"  (As in, which bastard King was it about.)  My response - "The actual one.  William the Conquerer."  "Oh," she said.  "You meant an actual bastard."  In Plaidy's usual style it's not particularly dramatic, simply a fairly straightforward narrative with flesh and bones given to the hsitory books.  I still find William and Matilda's purported style of relationship (specifically, the beatings) horrifying and I really hope that it's all a nasty anti-Norman rumour.  But I suspect there's a grain of truth in there somewhere.

Not sure when I'll get on to the next in the trilogy, The Lion of Justice, but I'll buy it from Kobo at some stage.

What I'm reading next:

Walking the Camino.  What?  I've said that twice already and still haven't started it?

Also, it's book club next week and I need to read for that.  Only I can't remember the title of the book.  I'll add it to this post when I get home.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Wednesday Reads (6/2/13)

WednesdayReads is a regular meme that seems to be taking over Dreamwidth.  As I've been rather remiss with Top Ten Tuesdays of late (you'll notice that I'm even posting a Wednesday meme on a Friday), you'll have to put up with WednesdayReads again this week.

What I'm reading now
The Glory Garage: Growing Up Lebanese Muslim in Australia - this is one of my AWW reads for the year.  It's proving frustrating in some ways, because a lot of it feels like teaching your grandmother to suck eggs.

Also: A Rogues Proposal by Stephanie Laurens and War of Honor by David Weber. (I totally just wrote David Warner.  How's that for Sci-Fi slips?)  I've picked both of these back up, needing fluff and nonsense right now.

What I've just finished reading:
Beyond the Ladies' Lounge: Australian Women Publicans by Clare Wright.  I really need to review this one for AWW, even though it's not on my lists, because it's interesting.

Also The Blockade Breakers, about the Berlin Airlift.  Completely fabulous.

What I'm reading next:
Still planning on it being Walking the Camino.