From fairy rings to truffles, mushrooms have been captivating our imaginations and tantalizing our taste buds for centuries. But beyond their culinary appeal, these mysterious fungi offer a world of knowledge that is ripe for exploration.
Whether you’re looking to understand the science behind them or discover new ways to use them in your cooking, there are plenty of books out there that can help you unlock the secrets of mushrooms.
So without further ado, here are nine of the best books about mushrooms that will broaden your mycological horizons and take you on an unforgettable journey through this fascinating kingdom.
1. The Complete Mushroom Hunter, Revised: Illustrated Guide to Foraging, Harvesting, and Enjoying Wild Mushrooms
If you are new to the world of mushrooms, then The Complete Mushroom Hunter is an outstanding source for discovering their history and utilization in arts, cooking, and medicine. This book is perfect for anyone who wishes to establish a thorough understanding of the fungi kingdom.
This text is primarily built around various mushroom types and their close relatives. By reading this book, you can learn about:
- History and guide on mushroom hunting
- Identification of Medicinal, poisonous, edible, and psychotherapeutic mushrooms
- Cooking mushrooms and creating artwork
So, with all this information, eye-catching pictures, beautiful illustrations, and some short stories of the past, you are going to love mycology even more.
2. The Edible Mushroom Cultivation Bible: [3 in 1] The Complete Guide to Identifying and Growing Gourmet & Medicinal Mushrooms at Home
Best Guide For Growing Mushrooms
For someone who loves eating and cultivating mushrooms, the Edible Mushroom Cultivation Bible is a book that can help you advance your mycological knowledge.
It has all the required details for mushroom cultivation, starting from the types of equipment necessary for growing mushrooms and harvesting them.
You will find the following topics discussed in this book,
- Learn how to grow a lot of mushrooms even if you have limited space available
- Instructions for setting up a comprehensive mushroom laboratory in your home
- An essential troubleshooting manual
- How to develop mushroom-hunting skills
- Information on medicinal and gourmet mushrooms
This book is a must-have for at-home foodies, chefs, herbalists, and mushroom lovers to expand their mushroom knowledge and start cultivating mushrooms from the ground up.
3. Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms
Best for Beginners
The Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms is one of the best books for newbies to mushroom cultivation.
Written by Paul Stamets, an expert mycologist, this book offers valuable information on 31 different mushroom species to help you start mushroom cultivation from scratch. Paul is known for his mushroom knowledge and fungal solutions aimed towards developing healthy ecosystems. He even has his youtube channel, @paulstametsofficial where he shares his earth adventures and discusses systems to adopt for saving the world.
His book on Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms includes,
- Optimal conditions for growing different types of mushrooms
- Making recipes, art, and medicine from mushrooms
- A practical guide on building mushroom-growing spaces
In short, if you want an all-in-one book for mushroom gardening, medicinal use, and making gourmet recipes, this book is a must-have.
4. Mushrooms: How to Identify and Gather
Wild Mushrooms and Other Fungi
Best Foraging Guide
If you want to go mushroom hunting but are hesitating due to lack of knowledge on foraging wild mushrooms and identifying fungi, then this forager guide can help you out.
This book contains details on 450 mushroom species including their cross-sections and identification by form, colors, or textures. Reading about the species along with their illustrations allows readers to differentiate between edible and dangerous fungal species and identify them easily.
It also includes recently discovered and microscopic mushrooms which makes it distinctive from other books.
5. Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds,
Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures
New York Times Bestseller
The next book on the list is Entangled life by Merlin Sheldrake, a Ph.D. ecologist. It takes a creative approach and describes everything based on the perspective of fungi.
The book includes details on the fungal world, their complex unseen networks that Sheldrake has referred to as the “Wood Wide Web”, and their need for the environment. It analyzes how fungi support and sustain almost all living organisms.
So, this book is perfect for a poetic person who is interested in knowing about Fungi in depth including their visible and invisible parts.
6. How to Forage for Mushrooms without Dying: An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Identifying 29 Wild, Edible Mushrooms
Best Mushroom Pictures
As a beginner forager, you never know when you might encounter a poisonous mushroom on your foraging adventure and end up sick or worse. Therefore, this book is a must-have for identifying poisonous mushroom species and frankly, not dying.
Written by Frank Hyman, this book How to Forage for Mushrooms without Dying involves 29 different edible species of mushrooms you can find on your walk to the woods.
The field guide is written with some funny stories thus enhancing the interest of readers.
- Finding mushrooms according to season and location
- Cutting, cooking, and preservation methods
- Structure, growth, and reproduction of mushrooms
Hence, If you want a slow start from the very basics of knowing mushrooms then start from this one.
7. Your Psilocybin Mushroom Companion: An Informative,
Easy-to-Use Guide to Understanding Magic Mushrooms
Best Guide on Magic Mushrooms
As the name indicates, the next book that can be your favorite companion in your healing journey is your Psilocybin Mushroom Companion. It contains several tips for successful micro-dosing and psychedelic Therapy that help you learn about the use of medicinal mushrooms.
Starting from the history of medicines, incorporation of personal experience, various advice, and step-by-step guides to the effect of micro-dosing on your mental state, this comprehensive guide contains everything to repel your fear, feel good, and love your transformation.
8. Growing Mushrooms for Beginners:
A Simple Guide to Cultivating Mushrooms at Home
Best Troubleshooting Tips For Mycologists
The Growing Mushrooms for Beginners is a step-by-step guide for mushroom hunters and mushroom cultivators. You can study several popular mushroom species in this book with explanations that are easy to comprehend and evaluate.
Furthermore, this book also gives some tips and tricks about,
- Mushroom cultivation in a small area and little expenditure
- Solving problems occurring while cultivating or harvesting mushrooms
- Cooking, storing, and refrigerating mushrooms
Someone with little know-how on growing mushrooms can use this book as a guide for working with any eatable and medicinal mushroom.
9. Mushroom Cultivation: 12 Ways to Become the MacGyver of Mushrooms
Best for Urban Homesteading
The last book that can prove a helpful guide for mushroom lovers is Mushroom Cultivation. As the name indicates, this book covers every bit of information required for growing mushrooms.
Written by Richard Bray, the book is well illustrated and written for beginner mushroom cultivators to help them grow mushrooms. From finding the right temperature for ideal fruiting to the time it takes to grow, you can learn all about a mushroom species and determine if it is doable for you, thus maximizing your chances of successful mushroom cultivation.
It has information on,
- Features, anatomy, and life-cycle of mushrooms
- Multiple indoor-outdoor ways and optimal conditions to plant mushrooms
- Diseases, pests, and other everyday issues
- Complete mushroom processing
After reading this book, a beginner can be a complete expert on growing mushrooms in unique ways with maximum output.
And the Best Book About Mushrooms Is…
The Edible Mushroom Cultivation Bible
I recommend The Edible Mushroom Cultivation Bible: [3 in 1] The Complete Guide to Identifying and Growing Gourmet & Medicinal Mushrooms at Home as it explores the world of mushrooms and has valuable information about fungi.
So what will you learn in this wonderful book?
- Learn advanced techniques from a mushroom-growing expert to maximize yields
- Get tips on creating the perfect laboratory and growing environment in your own home
- Enjoy delicious recipes that use freshly grown or found wild mushrooms
- Get a helpful troubleshooting guide to get your mushroom cultivation off on the right foot
- Become an experienced mushroom finder and wow your friends with large finds
Which mushroom is best for foraging?
The best mushrooms for foraging are the ones that are the easiest to identify. This includes the morels, puffballs, chanterelles, and the chicken of the woods mushroom.
How long do mushrooms take to grow?
Mushrooms typically take around 16-35 days to grow and are harvested by hand at the end of the growing cycle.
The Bottom Line: My Favorite Books About Mushrooms
Mycology is a fascinating field of study with much to learn and explore. The books we’ve discussed in this article are excellent resources for mushroom enthusiasts looking to expand their knowledge of mushrooms and fungi, from harvesting wild varieties outdoors to cultivating them indoors.
With the right book, you can become an expert mycologist and even grow your own delicious mushrooms at home!
Want to learn more about mushroom use and the world of fungi? Here are a few other articles I’ve written on the subject: