Most of us own a Leatherman or Swiss Army knife. You won't screw down your next deck with either of these tools, but their usefulness is at times indispensable.

Comparing Construction Principles, Materials and Methods (7th ed.) by H. Leslie Simmons (John Wiley, 2001; 212/850-6000, http://www.wiley.com, $99) to a Swiss Army knife understates the value of this scholarly achievement, but the parallel is irresistible -- this book simply covers so much ground that it can't possibly provide depth in all areas...

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