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TIJ Book Club?

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A few days ago, one of the posters asked about reading material and books to read that may make him a better inspector. The responses included a list from me and several other suggestions. My advice was to read books that help you think like an inspector and train yourself to observe.

I just finished a book by Robert Kurson, Crashing Through I guess you could say it has nothing to do with inspections, but it does deal with a man that was blind from age three to forty-three and gets his vision back. It is a true story. The first half of book is biographical and the second is a little more technical. I think it teaches an important lesson on the mechanics of vision (observation) for inspectors.

My "assigned" summer reading is complete and now I have time to read something for extra credit - any ideas?

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David Mamet's "Bambi vs. Godzilla" is brilliant. It's a Mamet-ized review of the movie industry. If you like Mamet, you'll really like this. Of course, if you've never seen or read "Glengarry Glen Ross", you should; it's a beautiful dissection of real estate office personalities; if you're in the HI biz, you'd like this.

"Collapse" by Jared Diamond. Epic overview of how & why civilizations succeed or fail. Looks @ Easter Island, Greenland, Rwanda, Japan, Haiti/Dominican Republic, the Mayan/Aztec empires, etc., and delineates those things that made them or broke them. He's the same guy that wrote "Guns, Germs, and Steel". "Collapse" is much more accessible than "Guns..."; less pages of research, and more revelatory passages of understandable prose.

"The Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene. Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the quest for the ultimate unified field theory, written for simpletons like me. Walter gave it to me a couple summers ago, and I pick it up periodically to be amazed once a again. For a minute, I was actually understanding Relativity & Quantum Physics.

You know Chicago. You might like (but will be saddened by) "Richard Nickels's Chicago". It is a collection of the masters photos documenting the demolition of Chicago's old architectural wonders like the Stock Exchange. If you're into historic building, this one is a fascinating but sad tale.

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I suppose I could recommend some writing or grammar books but I don't want to be annoying.

I very much enjoyed Bernard Cornwell's Viking series, about Danish raiders at the time of King Alfred the Great (late ninth century). There's a lot of magnificent fighting and decapitations. A nice relaxing read after you've spent the day crawling in small spaces. The Last Kingdom is the first one.

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Did anyone notice the responders are "experienced" inspectors?* I wonder how that got that way.(Les)

The responders are the regular TIJ posters is another way to look at.

As the relative outsider(as compared to the above)allow me to provide the alternative.

There is no one book of great knowledge other than a number of good reference sources.NEC code book,IRC code book would be the first to come to mind.

What the poster may have been thinking is what is the easiest way to interpret these various codes and bundle them into facts and knowledge along with common sense.

This will be found outside the code books by doing things such as going on forums and asking questions of (experienced inspectors}

This will be found by getting out there and learning on the job when you find yourself constantly researching facts you are not sure of.The more you do the less you will need to do.

Start blogging more and you will find yourself checking the facts more and more with an increase in knowledge as a result.

OK now to answer the question directly....

Unlimited Power by Anthony Robbins is one of the most inspirational books for motivation I have ever read.

Motivation is the key to all learning when it comes to getting an inspection,doing an inspection and dealing with people which is something often not discussed here,(yet may be the most important part of the whole process),and living your life in general.

The regulars on this board do not always come across as having excellent sales or people skills ,but I can assure you they do or would not still be working.

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Originally posted by kurt

Jim, I think I'm gonna cry now..... [:-dev3]

You, my friend, are an elevated consiousness. No struggle is necessary. You are living my dream.

Save yourself for marriage....[:-angel][:-dev3]

"Falling in love is such a tremendous feeling, I try to make sure I do it every week or so." Jim Morrison Puerto Vallarta 7/11/07

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"A Man in Full" is the story of a self made milti-millionaire who loses everything and a working class guy who loses everything. Both of them learn to stop worrying about things beyond their control, and concentrate on what they can control. - the book is way better than my lame synopsis.

"La Prisonerre" is the true story of Malika Oufkir, daughter of General Oufkir - Minister of Defense of Morocco. After a failed coup d'etat, General Oufkir is executed, and Malika, her mother, brothers and sisters are sent to prison. They spend nearly 20years imprisoned in horrible conditions. While it is not a happy book, it taught me that if they could keep it together through their ordeal, my life should be a peice of cake. I am currently reading La Prissonerre for the third time in 5 years.


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My reading is suffering this year due to business being up. I've slowly switched over from mostly fiction to mostly non-fiction in the last few years. The only book I have to read right now, and haven't gotten to, is Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris. It's a follow up to his best seller of last year, The End of Faith. The subject matter is religion, so if you're touchy about that subject I don't recommend those two books.

Today my wife brought home a hardback copy of The Husband by Dean Koontz. She picked it up for 50 cents someplace, knowing I have a dozen or so of his older paperbacks scattered around.

Brian G.

Reading Makes You Smarter [:-graduat

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I agree with Brian that reading does make you smarter. You learn cool things and see how others write. Someone somewhere else in this forum astutely said that if you want to write better you should read. That's mostly true, but I do see lots of errors in books and magazines. So follow the pros but don't believe everything you read.

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I try to read a couple hours a night. I end up reading about two books a week.

My six-year-old son is getting excited about reading books from the library, but I wonder if that will last. I fear that the crappily written textbooks he'll be forced to read in school will kill some of his enthusiasm. Happened to me. Only when I wasn't forced to read something did I choose to read a lot.

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I don't want to sound negative, but frankly I believe TV & Gaming is dumbing down our society at an alarming rate. Look what's happening to news print!

We need to go back to the classics, but I doubt that will ever happen. As thay say, R educational systim arn't whut it usit 2 B. [:-graduat

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