It's Bastille Day
— the day in 1789 when French revolutionaries stormed the Bastille Prison and kicked off the French Revolution. It's worth noting that there were only seven actual inmates of the prison at the time, and the attackers lost the fight in terms of manpower — 98 attackers killed to just one defender, according to Wikipedia
. Far more importantly, the revolutionaries elevated their act of defiance into a source of inspiration, a rallying point, the fuel for the considerable national fire which threw the French way of life into chaos.
It's an important reminder that great, life-changing movements — and great, life-changing books — don't start great. Instead, they germinate as small, fervently loved personal experiences that challenge the status quo, slowly snowballing from small, passionate groups to large, passionate groups, steadily building unstoppable speed.
This Bastille Day, why not read something revolutionary alongside your Bordeaux and triple brie this evening? My debut novel, The French Revolution, is, of course, a highly topical selection, but there are loads of terrific genre-bending, new-thinking works of fiction out there. A few books that have “stormed my Bastille” lately include:
What are the novels that have revolutionized your life?