Mushrooms Demystified Info

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Simply the best and most complete mushroom field guide and
reference book, MUSHROOMS DEMYSTIFIED includes descriptions and keys to
more than 2,000 species of mushrooms, with more than 950 photographs.
Mushroom authority David Arora provides a beginner's checklist of the 70
most distinctive and common mushrooms, plus detailed chapters on
terminology, classification, habitats, mushroom cookery, mushroom
toxins, and the meanings of scientific mushroom names. Beginning and
experienced mushroom hunters everywhere will find MUSHROOMS DEMYSTIFIED a
delightful, informative, and indispensible companion.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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4.68

1264 Ratings

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Reviews for Mushrooms Demystified:

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Nov 15, 2015


Maybe Arora doesn't know about these Portuguese ones, I've been photographing.
(You may click on any of the photographs)





























Ain't they pretty?
5

May 29, 2009

This is one of the most amazing biological guides ever. In addition to being an almost comprehensive guide to most macroscopic fungi of the western US, it is also weird, hilarious, and just plain wacky. Pretty much every time I grab it to look something up, I come across some new gem from Arora. Here's one I just found:

Since so few bracket fungi are edible, they are ignored by most people and barely mentioned in many popular mushroom books. As I am also ignored by most people (and have yet to be This is one of the most amazing biological guides ever. In addition to being an almost comprehensive guide to most macroscopic fungi of the western US, it is also weird, hilarious, and just plain wacky. Pretty much every time I grab it to look something up, I come across some new gem from Arora. Here's one I just found:

Since so few bracket fungi are edible, they are ignored by most people and barely mentioned in many popular mushroom books. As I am also ignored by most people (and have yet to be mentioned in any kind of book), I feel I have something vital in common with these unheralded but indispensable organisms. Therefore, a fairly extensive (but by no means comprehensive) treatment is offered here, in hopes that readers will at least learn to notice polypores, if not identify them. ...more
5

Jun 23, 2007

I will actually be "currently reading" this book for the rest of my life - at least during those months that the mushrooms are out.

The most extraordinary thing about it is that it's actually fun to read -- no small feat for what's fundamentally a guidebook. Arora leads you to approach the overwhelming task of figuring out the wild mushroom in your hand like a mystery, and like many mysteries you end up chasing down dead ends, eliminating suspects, and enjoying every minute of it.

It seems that I will actually be "currently reading" this book for the rest of my life - at least during those months that the mushrooms are out.

The most extraordinary thing about it is that it's actually fun to read -- no small feat for what's fundamentally a guidebook. Arora leads you to approach the overwhelming task of figuring out the wild mushroom in your hand like a mystery, and like many mysteries you end up chasing down dead ends, eliminating suspects, and enjoying every minute of it.

It seems that every time I pull this out to identify some new thing that's pushed up under the pine needles (can I eat it?), another hour goes by as I follow some tangent about Avenging Death Angels or the like.

The book is worth it just for his section demystifying the Latin names of fungi -- which he makes into something of a sleuthing project. This has been the essential guidebook since it was first published in 1978, and I odn't think anything else has come close for combining science with a literary flair. ...more
5

Nov 12, 2007

One of the great reference books of our times! I have so often leafed through this book for the simple sheer pleasure of it, that I have found myself in the forest identifying wild mushrooms that I didn't realize I knew anything about. I can think of no higher praise.
5

Sep 11, 2013

Invaluable. I have learned so much from this book.
Okay, I didn't technically read the whole thing straight through, but I did read all of the sections aside from the identifications straight through. This is as good as it gets in a single source for mushroom identification. And, it's an easy read — the author's a bit whacky in a good way — which really helps, because latin naming conventions make my mind fog over if there's not something lighter to break it up. If you've never used a Dichotomous Invaluable. I have learned so much from this book.
Okay, I didn't technically read the whole thing straight through, but I did read all of the sections aside from the identifications straight through. This is as good as it gets in a single source for mushroom identification. And, it's an easy read — the author's a bit whacky in a good way — which really helps, because latin naming conventions make my mind fog over if there's not something lighter to break it up. If you've never used a Dichotomous Identification Key before, you're in for a treat, because it's kind of like a grown-up Choose Your Own Adventure. ...more
5

Jan 17, 2016

This is probably not a book you would sit down and read cover-to-cover. However it is the mycology "Bible" for those interested in gleaning mushrooms from forests & field. Arora's occasional humor, and cute pictures are worth the price of the book alone (see plate 217, "too many mushrooms - overindulgence")
4

Nov 11, 2013

Authoritative and comprehensive, often witty, but altogether somewhat dense. While this mushroom hunters' bible is indispensable, it could benefit from more pictures.
5

Oct 19, 2008

Brilliant. The best of the best. Detailed, comprehensive, easy to use, and hilarious.

I would never have expected as much from a field guide.
0

Nov 01, 2019

The go-to guide for the mushroom lover. Glorious pictures and well written descriptions make this book a joy to have on hand!
4

Feb 08, 2018

Wonderful descriptions and a lot of fun, only marred by the lack of color photos. Essential, but pair it with a color field guide.
5

Dec 06, 2016

This is an excellent, excellent book for mushroomers of all levels of experience, but most of all for beginning hunters. For one thing, Arora's writing style is immediately winning and thoroughly engaging, and this style is fully borne out among the included images. It reinforces the fun of mushroom hunting and also gives a glimpse into that fascinating subculture.

Secondly, and more importantly, Arora's book does what other guides may not, which is that he immediately teaches the best This is an excellent, excellent book for mushroomers of all levels of experience, but most of all for beginning hunters. For one thing, Arora's writing style is immediately winning and thoroughly engaging, and this style is fully borne out among the included images. It reinforces the fun of mushroom hunting and also gives a glimpse into that fascinating subculture.

Secondly, and more importantly, Arora's book does what other guides may not, which is that he immediately teaches the best mushroom-gathering and identification habits by structuring the volume so that you have no choice but to do as you should! Books explicitly geared toward field identification, especially those with high-quality color plates, (see The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms) have the tendency to allow the reader to rush through to the most similar-looking picture as a basis for identification, which can lead to very erroneous (and potentially dangerous) results.
By structuring his book the way he does, Arora forces the reader to orient her identification by starting with spore prints, which requires that the mushroom(s) be picked, taken home, and properly examined. Following the spore print, readers must use the dichotomous keys to learn to get a sense of important details. The book teaches us how to examine closely and productively.

As a first mushrooming book, I'd recommend this as a prerequisite to perhaps more appealing easy-lookup guides like the field guide mentioned above. It's unwieldy in the field, but excellent for those who want to take things home and eat them. ...more
5

Jan 10, 2014

One of the best references for North American mushrooms available. It is considered by many to be the "Bible" of mushroom field guides.

Arora is a good author, and there's plenty of humor here and there, in this book. He makes an otherwise tedious affair interesting.

This isn't for casual reading however; it's about 2" thick and has entries on over 2000 species of fungi.

My only real complaint is that most of the photos are in black and white. A full color, updated edition of this book is something One of the best references for North American mushrooms available. It is considered by many to be the "Bible" of mushroom field guides.

Arora is a good author, and there's plenty of humor here and there, in this book. He makes an otherwise tedious affair interesting.

This isn't for casual reading however; it's about 2" thick and has entries on over 2000 species of fungi.

My only real complaint is that most of the photos are in black and white. A full color, updated edition of this book is something I would like to see.


...more
4

Jul 23, 2007

I have not actually read through this hefty tome, but I have perused used it and deem it a favorable fact that I and fellow consumers of found fungi are still intact, and much the happier for our mushroom meal, many thanks to Arora. Great photos, fun to read. I do disagree with him about his rankings of the tastiness/desirability of some fungi. He underestimates, in my opinion. But his is an American perspective.
5

Feb 03, 2010

Everything you ever wanted to know about mushrooms and then some. This is a doorstop of a mushroom guide for anyone interested in learning about hunting and identifying. Photos are black and white, with a section of colour plates in the middle of the book. Gives very detailed information about habitat, edibility, spore prints, fruiting bodies, etc. There are also several scientific keys included in the book to help you identify each mushroom species properly.
4

Dec 08, 2007

A lot of good information but just because he says one or another mushroom tastes good doesn't mean he's right. Giant puffballs taste like funky, chemical marshmallows - they are not "eminently edible."

But if you like campy fungophile in-jokes: "better kicked than picked," etc., this is your book.

If you're not interested in wild mushrooms, probably not for you. But who knows?
4

May 13, 2013

Clearly a classic and the bible of mushroom identification, though expect a big learning curve when it comes to working through the "choose your own adventure" style method of identifying your bounty.
4

Jul 08, 2010

Incredible resource. After almost 1000 pages I'm still more than a bit mystified, but I've started bringing fungi home and trying to work through identifications. I'm sure years of mycological fun await!
4

Oct 14, 2010

This book is super great for learning but it's also fun to read. He thanked his wife saying "...she did not provide countless house or selfless assistance without which this book would have not been possible."
4

Oct 21, 2012

Highly comprehensive reference text for all fungivores. Well outlined and information is easy to find. However, not the most portable volume--I suggest "All the Rain Brings and More," its pocket-sized field guide companion.
5

Nov 18, 2010

Best book out there for mushrooming(with its smaller companion All the rain promises and more)
5

Jun 29, 2012

I don't think that I will finish this book before the next eddition is published (soon), but it is an essential and easy to use reference.
5

Dec 27, 2007

This is my most used reference book ever... I got it in college for a class called Mushrooms, history and culture in 2000 and it has seen much use since.

5

Dec 23, 2013

Actually, I will be reading this for a long long time.

It is the "Opus Maximus" of Wild Mushrooms.
4

Apr 03, 2016

Course book for Teresa Sholar's mushroom identification class.
5

Aug 22, 2007

I love this book. Yes it's a good key to identifying fungi, but it's also super entertaining.

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