This one’s for you if you love a thriller.

“I am Pilgrim” was the first thriller I have ever read, and it was a serious page turner. You’re sitting up in bed, gripping the book much harder than you realise, with your shoulders up at your ears, and your eyelids getting heavier with every second but the story pulling you further and further through its pages. The pure joy of reading! It is the story of a former intelligence agent and his efforts to thwart an act of biological warfare. The scary part? It could be true.

“People say love is weak, but they’re wrong: love is strong. In nearly everyone it trumps all other things- patriotism and ambition, religion and upbringing.” p62 I thought this was a beautiful point. It was raised in the book in the context that often under interrogation or pressure, what makes people ‘give in’ is their love for someone.

“If you want to be free, all you have to do is let go” p86

Taliban is the Arabic word for a person seeking religious knowledge p144

Al-Qaeda is Arabic for the law or the base p149

“It’s a terrible commentary of our times, when a suitcase nuclear bomb is more palatable than the truth” p355

“Some people say compassion is the purest form of love because it is neither expects nor demands anything in return” p416

“A shark hunts, but a crocodile lies silently in the reeds and waits for its prey to come to him.” p724 His point was that not every apex predator hunts, which is interesting.

“I slept, and dreamed that life was beauty; I woke, and found that life was duty.” p786

“how many great skills the world had lost, how many things of value had passed without any of us even noticing. The old men with their chisels and hand saws were once the most highly paid members of their community, and what had we put in their place? Financial engineers and young currency traders.” p878