Books I finished while on vacation

One of the things I love most about vacations is getting plenty of time to read. Here are some of the books I recently finished along with a brief takeaway from each (I know these comments won’t do the books justice…hopefully they are enough to pique your interest (all links are affiliates)):
The Fault in Our Stars
Though life is fleeting, love is worth it. I loved the witty dialogue in this book, but at the end I felt like I had just read Ecclesiastes without the good parts.
The Meaning of MarriageThis book contrasts the traditional, contemporary and biblical views of marriage and lays out a glorious vision of marriage as the relationship which God uses to unite two people into one increasingly stunning reflection of his glory.
The Blame GameDysfunctional patterns of crediting and blaming are manifested differently according to people’s differing personalities (the understanding of which helps you know how to respond). Although I haven’t finished reading this one, what I have read seems to emphasize a pragmatic way to accomplish your personal and organizational goals in environments of dysfunctional credit-taking and blaming (both as a leader and as a subordinate).
The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of GodWe tend to absolutize a single aspect or meaning of God’s love, which leads to a lot of problems. Instead, we should let the Scriptures speak for themselves and when we consider the meanings of God’s love in context, we learn to love him as he is, not merely as we want him to be.
Ender’s WorldA panoply of authors explore the deeper themes of Ender’s Game and the entire world Orson Scott Card created. One sample thought provoking idea: Peter Wiggin (Ender’s older brother) is a sociopath who learned to use his megalomaniac tendencies for good.

Okay, I couldn’t resist including some other books that I recently read (just not during my recent vacation) for good measure:

Divine Sovereignty and Human ResponsibilityCarson takes a scholarly approach to examining how Scripture and related historical texts presented the tension between God’s sovereignty and human responsibility. In one choice excerpt on the “Soteriology of John” he concludes that “the sovereignty-responsibility tension in John serves to magnify man’s sin and God’s grace…’Christian life is based at all points upon grace; as it proceeds one grace is exchanged only for another'”. This book increased my intellectual confidence in the way Scripture speaks about God’s sovereignty overall all things (including salvation) and my responsibilities in light of it.
Street Smarts
Helps get you into the mind of an entrepreneur. Figure out your life plan before figuring out your business plan!
The Decision Maker
The leader’s role is to empower others to make decisions, not to make decisions for them. The book is a parable showing what could happen in a world where business leaders focused on empowering others to make decisions instead of making them themselves.
Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind
In Christ are found all treasures of wisdom and knowledge and hence, we should expect our personal knowledge of him to inform all our intellectual endeavors at their essence, not as an add-on.
Found in Translation
My research using computers to translate human languages left translation feeling rather mechanical and antiseptic to me. This book reminded me of how colorful and human the act of translation is.
Reminiscences of a Stock OperatorGet an intuition for how the market works, test it to get your timing right so that acting on your predictions results in the outcomes you expect. There’s no point getting emotional over losses since you are simply encountering the realities of the market.
The Queen
The second to last book in a series of thrillers by Steven James, this one shows the different ways people deal with guilt and points to forgiveness as the only true hope.
Lean In
This book helped me understand some of the challenges women face in building a career. I found some of the ideas in the book absurd (e.g. in aiming for equality, the author mentions the idea of husbands being able to fulfill the child nursing role), but it was helpful to widen my perspective and to help me empathize with female colleagues.