The Books I Read in 2020

Stars (★) mark the books that I liked the most. Please let me know if any of these resonated with you too or if you have recommendations for what I should read next. And here are the lists I posted in 2019 and in 2018.

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Oren at Fifteen Months

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Oren has something to say and good luck figuring out what it is.

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Working in Azerbaijan (Remotely)

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If you'd told me a year ago when Rachael and I were that we'd landed spots and were now working at one of the top schools on our list, I'd have stared back at you in disbelief. If you'd gone on to tell me that we'd still be in Portland, working remotely through the night, then I'd *really* know that you were lying. And yet here were are.

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Pedals and Pride

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At four and a quarter, Idara is finding new ways to break my heart.

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I'm Not One Hundred Percent on This…Yet

Yesterday a student of mine raised her hand and said, “I don’t really have a question. I just wanted to say that I’m not 100 percent on this yet.” Then she paused for a moment and continued, “Is that okay?”

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A Dusty Box of Slides

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A few days ago I found a cardboard box in my dad's garage with the words "2x2 Slide Projector, sold exclusively by Montgomery Ward" printed on the side in big, block letters. There's nothing special about a slide projector, but what if there were slides, too?

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Moving to Azerbaijan (Eventually)

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In September of last year Rachael and I began preparing to move back overseas. This is how we ended up choosing a small country sandwiched between the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea.

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Oren at One

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I've told the story of Oren's birth before and I expect to be telling it for the rest of my life. How could I make sense of it otherwise? The hope that this time things would go as we'd planned, and then the realization that they would not, like a rubber band pulled back slowly and then released without notice.

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Exposure

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Last weekend I showed our car to Les, a man who was interested in buying it. While he looked it over we were careful to keep our distance. We wore masks, didn’t shake hands, and when Les took it for a test drive I sat in the back seat and rolled down the windows. Once he was sold on the car, we signed the documents, passing a pen back and forth, and he gave me the cash. He then dropped me off at the house and just like that, the car which had been the collective legs of our small family for the past three years was gone.

I tried to put the thought of saying goodbye to the car out of my mind, and thanks to the demands of a new job, an odd working and sleeping schedule, a global pandemic, and a presidential election, I was largely successful. And then on Thursday, five days after meeting up with Les to sell the car, he sent me a text.

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Walking in the Rain

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Yesterday morning the rain was coming down in sheets and I'd spent a long time staring at the screen of my laptop. I decided to rope Idara into an adventure.

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