The Whimsical Life of Mycelium, Fungi, & Mushrooms

Published Wednesday, October 25, 2023

When the seasons and conditions are just right, it’s time for those strange and whimsical fruiting bodies we know as mushrooms to start popping up around every corner. Just like a fruit tree produces fruits, mycelium networks right underneath our feet covering the entire earth produce these fun-guys: mushrooms!

Fantastic Fungi: Expanding Consciousness, Alternative Healing, Environmental Impact // Official Book of Smash Hit Documentary
Paul Stamets (Editor), Louie Schwartzberg (Foreword), Eugenia Bone (Contributor), Suzanne Simard (Contributor) , Roland Griffiths (Contributor), Jay Harman (Contributor), William Richards (Contributor), Andrew Weil (Contributor) , Michael Pollan (Contributor)

What do you get when you put together a team of professional and amateur mycologists, ecologists, foodies, artists, doctors, and adventurers of all kinds with an expert in the art of time lapse? The wonderful work of art in book and film form; Fantastic Fungi! Start off by learning about the source of life; mycelium. When you see a mushroom, you are only seeing the very tip of the iceberg. Learn about the health benefits of medicinal mushrooms, how mushrooms help clean up toxins and pollution, and so many different ways fungi can help save the world. Dig deep into the world of fungi with this fantastic book and film that will have you thinking about fungi in a whole different way!

Check Availability
Fungipedia: A Brief Compendium of Mushroom Lore
Lawrence Millman , Amy Jean Porter (Illustrator)

If you’re looking for an easy to read and understand look into the lore and life of mushrooms, this A to Z book of mush love is a great start. Did you know the story of Santa Clause could have possibly originated from shamans visiting their clients on reindeer drawn sleds who ingested the well-known red topped Fly argaric (Amanita muscaria) mushroom? King Tut’s Curse may have actually been from violators who entered his tomb inhaling the spores of Aspergillus flavis, a type of mold that comes from keeping fruits in dry closed off places just like the pharaoh’s tomb. This fun book will have your imagination running wild with mushroom stories and teachings from around the world!

Check Availability
How to Forage for Mushrooms without Dying: An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Identifying 29 Wild, Edible Mushrooms
Frank Hyman

So you want to start your mushroom foraging journey, but don’t want to die because you’re a newbie, check this book out! The books starts with the basics and easily explains everything you need to know to take your first adventure into the woods. You will learn about 29 common mushrooms, their look alikes, how to cook them, and so much more. If you are thinking about taking your first foraging journey into the woods, be sure to snatch up this book first!

Check Availability
All That the Rain Promises and More: A Hip Pocket Guide to Western Mushrooms
David Arora

The word fungophobic refers to the cultural and social fear of mushrooms. Only recently have North Americans started their own journeys to discover the amazing world of mushrooms just like the countries of Japan and China, and many others have for centuries. It always seems that people are scared to handle wild mushrooms, but most can be handled and can only cause harm if ingested. Educating and exploring the world of mushrooms can benefit us in so many ways! This “hip” pocket guide to the western world of mushrooms will help you start your journey to identifying all kinds of new and fascinating mushrooms without having to be afraid thanks to the over 200 mushrooms described and pictured in this book!

Check Availability
Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World
Paul Stamets

If anyone deserves to be named “The Godfather of Mushrooms” it would have to be Paul Stamets. He has spent the majority of his life studying these unique works of life that live all around us. This book gives you a detailed look into the life of the mycelium running under all of us and the mushroom “fruits” from it! Fungi help break down plant and animal debris and keep our planet clean from piles of decomposing matter. They also help break down toxic wastes and so much more! You will learn about mushrooms in outer space and zombie mushrooms to getting familiar with the nutritional properties and even how to cultivate your own in more than one way! Dive head first into saving the world with mushrooms!

Check Availability
Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures
Merlin Sheldrake

Fungi are all around us at all times and have been since the beginning of life on Earth. They help shape our world and are changing the way things work every single day. Fungi are the largest source of living particles in the air we breathe. The produce over fifty megatons of spores each year which is the equivalent of five hundred thousand blue whales! Plants have relied on fungi to for nutrition and defense since plants have been around. Fungi can help plants fight off weeds and dieses to increase crop yields and so many more incredible feats. Romans even used to pray to Robigus, who is the god of mildew, to ward off fungal diseases that were taking out the Empire. Fungi are here to stay no matter what we want to believe, so we might as well co-exist and make our lives easier together!
p.s. The illistraions in this book were drawn with ink from the Shaggy Ink Mushroom! (Caprinus comatus)

Check Availability
The Bible Of Medicinal Mushrooms

Mushrooms can help us in more ways than most are aware! There are several mushrooms considered to be “functional” or useful to the human body. Mushrooms can improve our gut health, help our brains cognitive abilities, help us sleep, give us energy, and so much more! Lions Mane Mushroom is known to help with all kinds of mental blocks, brain fog moments, and help with mental decline. Turkey Tail mushrooms are helping our immunity and fight cancer cells with its multiple immune boosting abilities. Looking for a boost of energy? Check out the Cordyceps Mushroom! This book will give you a head start on which mushrooms out there can help you live a better and healthier life.

Check Availability
Mushroom Magick: Ritual, Celebration, and Lore
Shawn Engel

This one is for the lovers of mushrooms, magic, folklore, and witchery! In this book you will dive into a world of mushroom folklore from over 25 countries like Greece, Egypt, Peru, Malaysia, and more! You will also learn about 22 well known mushrooms like Amanitas, Chanterelles, and Morels and their common uses, and even learn how to incorporate them into spellwork! If you’re looking for a unique way to learn about mushrooms and mushroom folklore, spells, and more, this book is definitely for you!

Check Availability
About the Author

Avie is a circulation clerk at EPL and enjoys getting to see old faces and new faces every day at the library! She loves all things plants and mycology and has suggested many fungi-related books for the EPL collection. When she isn't at work you will find her in the woods looking for the next fun new mushroom to study, working on her foraging skills, or just enjoying time in nature with a hike. She also loves gardening and cuddling with her two cat babies!