The 9 Best Books About Mushrooms To Unlock Your Mycological Knowledge

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

Best Illustrations

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. 

  • Well structured accompanied by excellent documentation and demonstrations
  • Enables you to differentiate between edible and poisonous mushrooms
  • Culinary guide to using mushrooms included with thirty mouth-watering recipes
  • Covers only a limited number of mushrooms

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. 

  • A detailed guide on growing mushrooms
  • Guides about making a mushroom lab on your own
  • Discusses not only mushroom recipes but also making their medicinal products
  • Readers mention there aren’t enough illustrations overall

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. 

  • Gives a complete analysis of mentioned mushroom species
  • Has abundant pictures for reference
  • Provides creative ideas about designing a mushroom farm
  • The updated version can be confusing as the reference and page numbers do not match

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. 

  • Discusses most wild mushroom species
  • Has high-contrasted pictures for better understanding and identification
  • Explains physical features to identify each part of the fungus separately
  • Non-Americans may find the book unconventional, as the guide is based in America

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.

  • Every detail in the book feels magical making it a fascinating read
  • Can help in understanding the relation of fungi with the kingdom Plantae
  • An excellent book of choice for environmental experts
  • The book is a little pedantic and sounds unrealistic at some points

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. 

It includes:

  • 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. 

  • Great for finding easily identifyable mushroom varieties
  • Has methods to preserve mushrooms
  • Pocket-sized book that can be taken anywhere
  • Has a few blurry misprinted pages inside

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.

  • Is an encouraging guide on starting psilocybin safely and responsibly
  • A short and easy-to-understand book to know which mushrooms are beneficial
  • Filled with unlimited tips and pieces of advice on mushroom usage
  • Some readers say that the information is general and can be easily found on Google

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. 

  • Has unique ideas about growing mushrooms in different ways
  • Is well-organized with proper indexing
  • Has information on various popular mushrooms
  • May not be in-depth enough for beginners

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. 

  • You can find optimal conditions for growing a large number of mushrooms here
  • Can help in the identification of harmful bugs and diseases
  • Not very long so can be completed in a short time
  • May be too basic for intermediate or advanced mushroom enthusiasts

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:

  1. Are Mushrooms Decomposers? Yes, and We Need Them!
  2. What’s The Best Mushroom Growing Kit For Beginners? 6 Top Indoor Picks
  3. How To Tell If Mushrooms Are Bad: The Complete Guide
  4. Why Are Mushrooms Important to the Food Chain?

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