Inferno

by Dan Brown (Doubleday, USA 2013)

Inferno

Madness breeds madness.

Never make a promise you cannot keep.

The decisions of our past are the architects of our present.

She cried for the life she could not control.  She cried for the mentor who had died before her eyes.  She cried for the profound loneliness that filled her heart.  But, above all, she cried for the future… which suddenly felt so uncertain.

When every province of the world so teems with inhabitants that they can neither subsist where they are nor remove themselves elsewhere… the world will purge itself.

When swimming into a dark tunnel, there arrives a point of no return when you no longer have enough breath to double back.  Your only choice is to swim forward into the unknown… and pray for an exit.

… the best compass you have is your subconscious mind. It’s basic psychology.

Compassion is a universal language.

Nothing is more creative… nor destructive… than a brilliant mind with a purpose.

The human mind has a primitive ego defense mechanism that negates all realities that produce too much stress for the brain to handle.  It’s called denial.

No man is more prideful than he who believes himself immune to the dangers of the world.

Just because the human mind can’t imagine something happening… doesn’t mean it won’t.

I’m a fan of the truth even if it’s painful to accept.

It’s the age-old battle between mind and heart, which seldom want the same thing.

Oftentimes, those special brains, the ones that are capable of focusing more intently than others, do so at the expense of emotional maturity.

painful love – unfulfilled, unrequited, and unattained

… avarice [is] an international sin.

The WHO feels strongly that the widespread availability of contraception is one of the keys to global health – both to combat sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS and also for general population control… And the Vatican feels differently… They have spent enormous amounts of energy and money indoctrinating third-world countries into a belief in the evils of contraception.

Treachery was the act of betraying a loved one… an act Dante [Alighieri] considered so vile that he had Judas banished to the inferno’s innermost core.

I do not fear death… for death transforms visionaries into martyrs… converts noble ideas into powerful movements.

Inner calm is critical to persuasive acting.

The world’s power brokers relied on massive disinformation schemes to help shape public perception.

A kind of shock treatment for worshipers – a physical space imposing that those who entered felt dwarfed, their egos erased, their physical being and cosmic importance shrinking to the size of a mere speck in the face of God… an atom in the hands of the Creator.

Expect the worst from people who hold power.

The worst kind of loneliness in the world is the isolation that comes from being misunderstood.  It can make people lose their grasp of reality.

In dangerous times, there is no sin greater than inaction.

The Black Key

by Amy Ewing
HarperCollinsPublishers, 2016
The Black Key

* To build a new future, she must destroy her past.

* The best way to get between the circles of the city is to hide in plain sight.

* I want to hold on to this morning tightly, to imprint it in my brain, a talisman against whatever darkness the future holds… In this moment, I am safe and alive, and surrounded by friends.

* There are bigger things at stake here than personal struggles.

* Jealousy is a petty emotion.  It pollutes the mind.  It makes you rash.

* Not all choices result in what we want, or even what we expect.

* Some things are bigger than just one person.

* You showed us what really mattered.  You changed us both.