This International Women's Day what better way to celebrate powerful Irish women than with these new books "Bold, Brilliant & Bad" and "My Brother Jason".

"Bold, Brilliant & Bad" - By Marian Broderick

'Women are powerful, women are dangerous,' wrote Audre Lorde the feminist and civil rights activist once. She meant to inspire not criticize and this book does the same.

The “bad” women it celebrates defiant trailblazers who shrugged off the conventions of their own times to live authentic lives on their own terms.

Read more: Three new Irish books to explore this World Book Day

There's something especially thrilling about learning just how many women actually did push back against the social and religious systems that labored relentlessly to oppress them throughout the centuries.  Broderick, who was raised in London of Donegal and Limerick ancestry, takes obvious delight in bringing these women before us in all their brilliant and sometimes batty glory.

120 Irish women who helped paved the way to the freedoms we (women and men) enjoy today they include women like the Roscommon born Gretta Cousins (1878-1954) the suffragette and civil rights activist who served prison sentences in three different countries for her work in women's rights and national independence.

Looking for Irish book recommendations or to meet with others who share your love for Irish literature and writers? Be sure to join to IrishCentral Book Club here and enjoy our book-loving community.

She fought against the attitudes of powerful troglodytes like John Dillion, the Irish Party member who swore a vote for women would break up the home and the power dynamic within it, challenging the male head, who was ordained by God.

You can laugh now but 100 years ago it was Cousins, not Dillion who was considered a radical.

In later years she agitated for independence for India and she lived to see it happen in 1947.

Another woman celebrated here is Winnifred Carney, who deserves a book in her own right. James Connelly's aide-de-camp during the 1916 Rising, she found herself at the center of the action during Easter week. With a typewriter in one hand a Webley gun in the other, she found herself typing mobilizations, dispatches and Commandant Connelly's orders.

In the post Civil War era her insistence that Ireland becoming a worker's republic was every bit as important as attaining its freedom made her unpopular with the counter-revolutionary forces that had prevailed (and survived).

She married a Unionist Protestant nine years her junior, considered a rather unlikely match at the time, but the couple had a famously happy marriage. These and a host of other neglected histories are retold her with gusto and admiration.

Dufour, $26.00

Read more: The classic Irish book you simply must read during March

"My Brother Jason: The Untold Story of Jason Corbett's Life and Brutal Murder" by Tom and Molly Martens

In August 2015 Limerick man Jason Corbett was brutally murdered by his wife, Molly Martens, and her father, ex-FBI agent Tom Martens, in the bedroom of their luxury North Carolina home. He was savagely beaten to death with a baseball bat whilst his children slept nearby.

But for his sister Tracey Corbett-Lynch, and for the rest of his family, it was the start of a years-long nightmare that involved a custody battle for the orphaned children, an online hate campaign directed by Molly Martens and the dramatic trial that would eventually lead to her conviction alongside her father, for his murder.

It makes for chilling reading. According to Corbett-lynch's book this on the surface all American girl targeted the widowed Jason Corbett, becoming a nanny to his children in a desperate effort to create the family she craved.

Outrage drove Corbett Lynch to write this book. After Molly and Tom Martens killed her brother, refusing to call for medical assistance until they knew he was dead, she believes they undertook a second kind of murder, the assassination of his character. Playing to old stereotypes of the drunken Irish to distort the truth and evade justice, the pair painted a picture of Corbett as an alcoholic thug, a characterization his sister will simply not allow to stand.

At the heart of this book is an unforgettable account of how an ordinary family can be torn apart by murder and its consequences, few of which can ever be foreseen. “Don't complain about getting old, some people never get the chance” was a quote that Corbett had picked as his favorite after his young wife Mags died tragically after an asthma attack.

Those lines now give his sister courage on her most difficult days and this book reminds us how much love can help people endure unimaginable trauma in pursuit of justice and the greater good. It's also a testament to a sisters enduring love of her brother.

Dufour, $27.00.

Looking for Irish book recommendations or to meet with others who share your love for Irish literature and writers? Be sure to join to IrishCentral Book Club here and enjoy our book-loving community.

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