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Paperback Mushrooms Demystified Book

ISBN: 0898151694

ISBN13: 9780898151695

Mushrooms Demystified

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Book Overview

Simply the best and most complete mushroom field guide and reference book, MUSHROOMS DEMYSTIFIED includes descriptions and keys to more than 2,000 species of mushrooms, with more than 950 photographs. Mushroom authority David Arora provides a beginner's checklist of the 70 most distinctive and common mushrooms, plus detailed chapters on terminology, classification, habitats, mushroom cookery, mushroom toxins, and the meanings of scientific mushroom...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

the title says it all

Huge volume, very complete. For beginners through true mycophiles. As a companion I suggest the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Mushrooms. With these two books you could rule the world, or at least idetify most North American mushrooms. I highly value my copy.

The "Go To " Mushroom Guide

I own a lot of field guides for birds, insects, reptiles, wildflowers and on and on. If you are like me then you enjoy reading field guides like some people read novels. The usual field guides are just monotone dry descriptions and pictures. David Arora's book is apart from the rest. His descriptions are entertaining and witty and filled with good information. Just reading the descriptions is as entertaining as it gets for any book of any genre. The second edition is a door stopper of a book for size but there is very little if no fluff. The first thing any botanical field guide should have is a good dichotomous key. Arora's book has a very good key. The photos are excellent and the color plates are spectacular. If you think you can identify a mushroom with just a photo then you are treading in dangerous waters. There are countless "Little Brown Mushrooms" that can hardly be distinguished by a photo. You need a key. The same mushroom can vary enormously depending on humidity and age of the specimen. One photo like in some other guides will hardly show all variations in a single mushroom. Photos are OK for other field guides describing birds or wildflowers but for mushrooms, a wrong choice could be life threatening. A photo of a Gomphus could look like a chanterelle. You will find yourself eating something more like cardboard instead of an epicurean delicacy. You could also think Omphalotus is a chanterelle based on a photo, making a deadly mistake. Arora's book will familiarize you with all the distinguishing characteristics that set the poisonous species apart from the edible. In spite of what I say about identifying mushrooms with photos , the black and white photos in the book do very well by showing the mushrooms in varying stages of maturity. The book is also scientific by all standards. The species are listed in accepted phylogenetic order and not by color or size or other ambiguous sequences. Being scientific does not make it difficult for the amatuer though. Arora walks you through the identification process in a comprehensive and easy to follow manner for the most rank amatuer. This field guide should be only one among many if you are into mushrooms but will end up being your "go to" guide among the lot. For identifying fungi I reccommend "How to Identify Mushrooms to Genus V" Cultural and Developmental Features" by Roy Watling. For a good text about Fungi in general I reccommend "The Fifth Kingdom" by Bryce Kendrick.

A Must Buy for Every Mushroomer

From the beginner to the expert, this book contains enough information to keep both satisfied. It can even make the beginner feel like an expert after a while! It is entertaining, interesting and filled with information that is simply unavailable elsewhere. Often I find myself reading it for the sheer pleasure of learning about mushrooms. It is amazingly comprehensive for a book that is supposed to be from the west coast. I live in the east and I find it incredibly useful. Often other books are incomplete or vague in their descriptions and this one steps in to fill the gaps. If there is one flaw with this book it is the lack of pictures. Often I consult other books to match a mushroom to the picture and get an idea of what it might be. Then this book helps to narrow it down to an exact species and supplies more information than most other books combined. If you are interested in hunting mushrooms then I can see no reason why you should not own this book...END

Perfect.

Okay, maybe not entirely perfect. It's probably a littl more perfect if you're west of the rockies. Nevertheless, this is without a doubt the best comprehensive book of mushroom collection and identification ever written. The keys are clear, detailed, and concise; the descriptions are excellent; the author is very knowledgeable and provides extensive information about edibility and toxicity rather than making blanket statements insulting to the reader. Microscopic characteristics are de-emphasized for ease of field use, but are still treated well; photography is excellent but not heavily emphasized, leaving most of the page space to the fantastic keys. You must own this book.

An excellent guide for mushroomers at any level

This is one of my all time favorite mushroom guides. Aurora combines comprehensive info on mushrooms along with witty humor. The book contains detailed descriptions of a lot of different species, including microscopic details. This isn't the book for you if you want a lot of nice colored photos, but if you can use a dichotomous key you'll be all set!
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