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My Year in Books

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Continuing our series in which we ask some of our regular contributors what they've been reading, listening to and watching in 2016, Michael Jensen gives us the top ten from his year in books.

1. The Emotionally Healthy Leader - Peter Scazzero

Ministers burn out at a terrifying rate. Scazzero shows you how not to.

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2. The Language Animal: The Full Shape of the Human Linguistic Capacity - Charles Taylor

An enthralling, complex, and delightful new book from a leading philosopher. Language is myth and metaphor all the way down! A great argument for the existence of God if you ask me.

3. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

Finally, I did it! Truly awesome as a narrative. I bow before Tolstoy's genius!

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4. Modern Romance - Aziz Ansari

An analysis of love in modern times - necessary for someone who hasn't dated since the 1980s so as to understand what life in the modern world is like. 

5. The Ottoman Endgame: War, Revolution and the Making of the Modern Middle East, 1908-1923 - Sean McMeekin

Truly fascinating history of the end of one of the great Empires - the place where so much contemporary struggle is being played out.

6. Winning Arguments - Stanley Fish

Love the Fish. How did Trump convince people to vote for him? Fish tells you how. How to argue at home, at work, and in public....

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7. Justice, What's the Right Thing to Do? - Michael Sandel

An intellectually robust but stunningly clear account of a much touted concept.

8. The Noise of Time - Julian Barnes

A novel about Shostakovich - what it is like being an artist under Stalin. 

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9. The Seven Principles of Making Marriage Work - John Gottmann

Gottmann knows.

10. You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit - James KA Smith

This book changes everything. We are not brains on sticks, so stop preaching to people like they are brains on sticks!

Michael Jensen is the Rector of St Mark's Anglican Church, Darling Point, in Sydney. He previously taught theology and church history at Moore College for 10 years, and completed his doctorate at Oxford University, which was published as Martyrdom and Identity: The Self on Trial. He has published a number of other books, including Sydney Anglicanism: An Apology, and My God, My God - Is it possible to believe anymore? He is currently working on projects on the doctrine of humanity and on Reformation Anglicanism. He maintains his interest in literary fiction, Eastern European history and culture, and J.S. Bach. Michael is married to Catherine and they have four children.


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