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My recommendations:

* Git From the Bottom Up: https://jwiegley.github.io/git-from-the-bottom-up/ (PDF: http://ftp.newartisans.com/pub/git.from.bottom.up.pdf) (See also: "Linus Torvalds' greatest invention": http://perl.plover.com/yak/git/) Once your mental model matches the program, you'll be able to understand everything, hack your own solutions if necessary, etc.

* Learn Git Branching: https://learngitbranching.js.org -- in fact I think this should be the UI for Git; wish someone would make that happen (i.e., so that you can point it to any Git repo and get that sort of visualization for it).

Thanks! Awesome resources! I'll add it to my post as soon as I finish reading all the answers. I'm learning a lot from you!

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