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OCTOBER JLC 2000 Building is a hands-on experience and any book on the subject a pale substitute, so I approach carpentry tomes with skepticism. There's no way anyone's going to get it all between two covers, let alone get it right. Leafing through the 795 pages of Modern Carpentry: Building Construction Details in Easy-to- Understand Form by Willis H. Wagner and Howard Bud Smith (2000; Goodheart-Willcox Publisher, 18604 W. Creek Dr., Tinley Park, IL 60477; 800/323-0440; www.goodheartwillcox. com; $50) is by no means a complete waste of time: There are loads of good color photographs and illustrations, and introductions to many of the tools and materials of the trade. Organized into 7 sections comprising 25