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Mushroom Book Miscellanea

Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World
by Paul Stamets


From the author of Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms comes the only identification guide exclusively devoted to the world's psilocybin-containing mushrooms. Detailed descriptions and color photos for over 100 species are provided, as well as an exploration of their long-standing use by ancients and their continued significant to modern-day culture. (Description from Amazon.)

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Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom
by Andy Letcher

coverShroom, by Andy Letcher, is that most wondrous of finds; a magic mushroom book that dares to confront modern orthodoxy, and does so in a way that actually advances our knowledge in the field. Billing his text as "A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom", Letcher does not disappoint in dishing up the tastiest mushroom morsels modern research can unearth. And for those of you who think you "know it all" already, I assure you, this book has the best a fungophile could hope for: New stuff. (Excerpted from a review at DoseNation.)

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by Roy Watling and Jonathan Elphick

coverA fascinating look inside nature's fifth kingdom. Fungi are a distinct kingdom, separate from the plants and animals, bacteria and protists. They are ever-present—we inhale them with almost every breath—and without them the recycling of the Earth's nutrients would be impossible. Yet despite their ubiquitous nature, they are poorly understood. Roy Watling sheds new light on these amazing creatures, explaining why they are so unique and how they live their lives. 100 color photographs. (Description from Amazon.)

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Trees, Truffles, and Beasts: How Forests Function
by Chris Maser, James Trappe, & Andrew W. Claridge

coverIn today's world of specialization, people are attempting to protect the Earth's fragile state by swapping limousines for hybrids and pesticide-laced foods for organic produce. At other times, environmental awareness is translated into public relations gimmicks or trendy commodities. Moreover, simplistic policies, like single-species protection or planting ten trees for every tree cut down, are touted as bureaucratic or industrial panaceas.

Because today's decisions are tomorrow's consequences, every small effort makes a difference, but a broader understanding of our environmental problems is necessary to the development of sustainable ecosystem policies. In Trees, Truffles, and Beasts, Chris Maser, Andrew W. Claridge, and James M. Trappe make a compelling case that we must first understand the complexity and interdependency of species and habitats from the microscopic level to the gigantic. Comparing forests in the Pacific Northwestern United States and Southeastern mainland of Australia, the authors show how easily observable species--trees and mammals--are part of a complicated infrastructure that includes fungi, lichens, and organisms invisible to the naked eye, such as microbes.

Eminently readable, this important book shows that forests are far more complicated than most of us might think, which means simplistic policies will not save them. Understanding the biophysical intricacies of our life-support systems just might. (Description from Amazon.)

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Fungi in the Ancient World
by Frank Matthews Dugan

coverWere ancient religions the product of hallucinogenic mushrooms?

Did mycotoxins cause the plague of Athens?

Did poisonous mushrooms kill the emperor?

Frank Dugan sifts the evidence, separates hype and hyperbole from factual and plausible events, and conclusively demonstrates that fungi have strongly influenced western civilization from its very beginnings.

Fungi in the ancient world included edible, poisonous and psychoactive mushrooms, potent yeasts for brewing and baking, and pathogens of plants, humans and animals. Fungi and their impacts were recorded in art, literature, folklore, and myth.

Fungi in the Ancient World is a comprehensive review on the impact of fungi in helping to shape ancient civilizations. Mushrooms, mildews, molds, and yeast had a surprisingly profound impact on: diet, custom, politics, religion; human, animal, plant health; art, folklore, and the beginnings of science. This insightful book is a gateway to current methodologies for investigation of the co-evolution of plants, fungi, and humans from the Neolithic to the Middle Ages.

This well documented book presents reproductions and descriptions of fungal motifs in ancient art, myth, and folklore that enable direct examination of evidence by any reader, professional or lay. Interdisciplinary in scope, this detailed and illustrated book includes a historical perspective on co-evolution of fungi with early agriculture that provides documented summaries of contemporary research in this area, from archaeology to molecular-genetics. It also delivers a historical perspective on the impact of fungi on human and animal health in early times, with examples of current methods used to assess historical impacts of mycotoxins, allergens, and pathogens. Translations and summaries from relevant ancient Greek, Roman, Sumerian and other texts are included, demonstrating how ancients themselves observed and recorded significant impacts of fungi.

Peer reviewed for accuracy and balance, the book provides multiple perspectives from professionals in mycology, plant pathology, ancient history, and folklore. It summarizes a wide range of highly controversial published views on the impact of fungi on customs, folklore, and religion. In doing this, the title presents perspectives on what is probable, plausible, or improbable in this highly debated area that helped form western civilization.

Fungi in the Ancient World will be of interest to mycologists, plant pathologists, historians, folklorists, plant breeders, anthropologists, ethnobotanists, ethnomycolgists, and others interested in fungi s impact to ancient history. Extensively referenced and indexed. (Description from Amazon.)

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In the Company of Mushrooms: A Biologist's Tale
by Elio Schaechter

coverCall them the foot soldiers of the forest floor. Unassuming and prolific, mushrooms clear a path for new life by expertly and efficiently recycling accumulated dead matter, from the tiniest leaf to the tallest tree. It may sound like a dirty, thankless job, but as microbiologist and author Elio Schaechter enthusiastically notes, we should be singing praises to the fungi of the Earth; without them, all but the tallest of creatures would be buried under a global blanket of decomposing matter. Schaechter is obviously fascinated by his subject, and his spirit is contagious, making In the Company of Mushrooms as entertaining as it is informative. Though the book serves as a guide to hunting, identifying, and classifying mushrooms--including where to look, what tools are necessary, and how to discern the flavorful from the deadly--its primary aim is to convey the wonders of the fungi world and its essential function in nature. Along the way Schaechter discusses the history of the mushroom and its role in the diets and healing practices of both ancient and modern cultures. He also offers such delectable tidbits as the fact that fungi are more closely related to humans than plants on the evolutionary scale. Mycology has never been so engaging. (Description from Amazon.)

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Slayers, Saviors, Servants, and Sex:
An Exposé of the Kingdom Fungi
by David Moore


A text for the general reader about fungi. Shows all of the vast types of fungi and the helpful and harmful functions it has had, such aiding in making bread and fermenting wine, enabling plants to grow, and their use in creating antibiotics, or their deadly ability to wipe out entire crops. (Description from Amazon.)

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The Triumph of the Fungi: A Rotten History
by Nicholas P. Money

coverThis book is concerned with the most devastating fungal diseases in history. These are the plagues of trees and crop plants, caused by invisible spores that have reshaped entire landscapes and decimated human populations. The Triumph of the Fungi focuses on the fascinating biology of the well- and lesser-known diseases, and also tells the stories of the scientists involved in their study, and of the people directly impacted by the loss of forest trees like the chestnut, and cash crops such as coffee and cacao. In a surprisingly brief time, human knowledge of the fungi that infect plants has evolved from Biblical superstition, to the recognition of the true nature of plant disease, and, more recently, to a sense of awe for the sophistication of these microbes. The crucial issue of human culpability in these fungal epidemics is addressed in the books closing chapter. (Description from Amazon.)

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Mr. Bloomfield's Orchard: The Mysterious World of Mushrooms, Molds, and Mycologists
by Nicholas P. Money

coverStinkhorns, puffballs, the 'corpse finder,' deadly Galerina, Satan's bolete, birch conks, black mold, the old man of the woods--the world of fungi is infinitely varied and not a little weird. Now, in Mr. Bloomfield's Orchard, Nicholas Money introduces readers to a dazzling array of fungi, from brewer's yeast and Penicillium to the highly lethal death cap. We learn of Madurella, which can erode bones until they look moth-eaten; Cordyceps, which wracks insects with convulsions, kills them, then sends a stalk out of the insect's head to release more infectious spores; and Claviceps, the poisonous ergot fungus, which causes hallucinations. Money also showcases the lives of famed mycologists--including Reginald Buller who wore horse blinders as he walked to work, the better to study luminescent fungi in his dark lab, and Charles Tulasne, the Audubon of fungi, whose illustrations of specimens border on art. And he recounts his own childhood introduction to fungi in Mr. Bloomfield's orchard, where trees and fruit were devoured by a rogue's gallery of bitter rot, canker, rust, powdery mildew, rubbery wood, and scab. Replete with historical photographs and simple yet effective illustrations, told with a refreshing sense of humor, Mr. Bloomfield's Orchard will fascinate anyone interested in the natural world. (Description from Amazon.)

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Carpet Monsters and Killer Spores: A Natural History of Toxic Mold
by Nicholas P. Money

coverMolds are everywhere: we inhale their microscopic spores from birth to death. But when an investigation in Ohio revealed that babies suffering from a serious lung illness had been exposed to a toxic black mold in their homes, millions of Americans became nervous about patches of mold in their own basements and bathrooms. Before long, lawsuits were filed by the residents of mold-contaminated homes in every state. By failing to address water damage, building contractors, plumbers, and insurance agents were held liable for exposing families to an unprecedented microbiological hazard. The mold crisis soon developed into a fully-fledged media circus. In Carpet Monsters and Killer Spores, Nicholas Money explores the science behind the headlines and courtroom dramas, and profiles the toxin-producing mold that is a common inhabitant of water-damaged buildings. Nicholas Money tells the most important mycological story since potato blight, with his inimitable style of scientific clarity and dark humor. (Description from Amazon.)

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The Rainbow Beneath My Feet:
A Mushroom Dyer's Field Guide
by Arleen and Alan Bessette

A unique and useful reference guide to some of the more common and best color-producing dye mushrooms of North America. The book includes step-by-step instructions to the process from collecting the mushrooms to dyeing the wool. There is an accurate and up-to-date description for each species along with over 200 color photographs. The scope of this work goes beyond the identification of species. The authors provide information about dyeing equipment, mordants, preparing and dyeing the wool, and the dazzling array of colors that can be obtained from mushroom. (Description from Amazon.)

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