The Fungal Kingdom is so much more than the mushrooms in our risotto or the poisonous species in the forest that we avoid. Although 90% of the Fungal Kingdom remains undocumented, what we are aware of cures life-threatening illnesses, makes soil, decontaminates landscapes and waterways, survives in space, alleviates a number of mental illnesses, produces food, digests plastic, explosives, pesticides, crude oil, and so much more! Fungi’s role beneath the soil, in our bodies, and in the atmosphere has shaped our world in ways many of us aren’t even aware of.

These four authors have done an outstanding job of detailing what we know about the Fungal Kingdom, what we can learn from fungi, and how fungi might help solve some of the greatest problems facing humanity today.

Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World

If you are interested in mushrooms, it is likely that you have heard of Paul Stamets. He is somewhat of a legend in the mushroom world. We love his book Mycelium Running because it outlines a clear path for using fungi to help remediate many of the ecological and climate problems that we currently face. The bulk of this book describes four areas of what he calls “mycorestoration”: mycomediation, mycofiltration, mycopesticides, and mycoforestry/myco-gardening. This book is beautifully illustrated, but it is also very detailed and heavily referenced, so we would recommend this book for the intermediate to advanced fungi lover.

Mycophilia: Revelations from the Weird World of Mushrooms

Eugenia Bone, the author of Mycophilia, is an accomplished food writer and cookbook author. This book examines the role of fungi as an exotic delicacy, curative, poison, and hallucinogen, and ultimately discovers that a greater understanding of fungi is key to facing many challenges of the 21st century.

We also recommend checking out her cookbook The Kitchen Ecosystem. She thinks about the kitchen as a self-sustaining system where the leftovers or byproducts of one meal become the key ingredients of the next meal. Its 400 recipes derived from 40 common ingredients are designed to help you achieve synchronicity in your kitchen.

For more book recommendations on cooking with mushrooms, stay tuned for our blog post: Books on Cooking with Mushrooms!

Mycophilia is available as an audiobook.

Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, & Shape Our Futures

Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake is one of our favourite books! The author is a biologist with a Ph.D. in tropical ecology from Cambridge University for his work on underground fungal networks in the tropical forests of Panama. He spent years in these forests observing fungi and becoming intimately connected with their patterns and behaviours. He writes that they are “a brilliant reply to some of life’s most basic challenges”. The revelations contained within this book bring into question our concepts of individuality and intelligence. From fungi’s psychedelic properties to its underground network called the “Wood Wide Web”, Sheldrake ultimately changes our understanding of how life works.

This book is available as an audiobook.

In Search of Mycotopia: Citizen Science, Fungi Fanatics, and the Untapped Potential of Mushrooms

Many people consider In Search of Mycotopia by Doug Bierend to be a natural sequel to Merlin Sheldrake’s Entangled Life. We really enjoyed this book because it highlights the remarkable mycological movement: growers, independent researchers, ecologists, entrepreneurs, and amateur enthusiasts exploring and advocating for fungi’s capacity to improve and heal. It also explores the staggering variety of species that make up the Fungal Kingdom and the potential that these species hold for our future. Bierend’s attention to detail, use of humour, and vast knowledge makes this an excellent read.

This book is available as an audiobook.

Make sure to check out our Library for more book suggestions. We recommend books on everything from mushroom lore, to medicinal mushrooms, and growing your own mushrooms. 

Follow us on social media for more book suggestions, mushroom education, fungi current events, farm happenings, and so on! 

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