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Dare to Wonder

Original work by Anna Towers

📚 Resources

The following recommend books, and others, can be found on my Amazon Storefront at the below link: 

Recommended California Identification Books

books, recommended reading, mushroom, mushrooms, fungus, fungi, mycology, blog, recommended reading, friendly fungus photography, redwood coast

Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast
"A Comprehensive Guide to the Fungi of Coastal Northern California"
By: Noah Siegel and Christian Schwartz

"Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast will help beginning and experienced mushroom hunters alike to find and identify mushrooms, from common to rare, delicious to deadly, and interesting to beautiful. This user-friendly reference covers coastal California from Monterey County to the Oregon border with full treatments of more than 750 species, and references to hundreds more. With tips on mushroom collecting, descriptions of specific habitats and biozones, updated taxonomy, and outstanding photography, this guide is far and away the most modern and comprehensive treatment of mushrooms in the region. Each species profile pairs a photograph with an in-depth description, as well as notes on ecology, edibility, toxicity, and look-alike species. Written by mushroom identification experts and supported by extensive field work,Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast is an indispensable guide for anyone curious about fungi."

  • Paperback: 608 pages

  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (August 9, 2016)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 1607748177

  • ISBN-13: 978-1607748175

  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches

books, recommended reading, mushroom, mushrooms, fungus, fungi, mycology, blog, recommended reading, friendly fungus photography, photography

California Mushrooms
"The Comprehensive Identification Guide"

By: Dennis E. Desjardin, Michael G. Wood, and Frederick A. Stevens

"California is one of the most ecologically rich and diverse regions of North America, and home to hundreds of species of mushrooms. In California Mushrooms, mycologist experts Dennis Desjardin, Michael Wood, and Fred Stevens provide over 1100 species profiles, including comprehensive descriptions and spectacular photographs of 650 species. Each profile includes information on macro- and micromorphology, habitat, edibility, and comparisons with closely related species and potential look-alikes.

Although the focus of the book is on mushrooms of California, over 90% of the species treated occur elsewhere, making the book useful throughout western North America. California Mushrooms also provides information on when and where to find mushrooms; guidelines on how to collect and identify mushrooms; keys to species; and overviews of nomenclature and taxonomy, morphology and phylogeny, fungal ecology, biology of mushrooms, and mushroom toxins. This complete reference covers everything necessary for the mushroom hunter to accurately identify over 650 species."

  • Hardcover: 560 pages

  • Publisher: Timber Press (August 12, 2015)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 1604693533

  • ISBN-13: 978-1604693539

  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 1.4 x 11 inches; 4.6 pounds

 Recommended Subject Books


Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World

By: Paul Stamets

"Mycelium Running is a manual for the mycological rescue of the planet. That’s right: growing more mushrooms may be the best thing we can do to save the environment, and in this groundbreaking text from mushroom expert Paul Stamets, you’ll find out how.
The basic science goes like this: Microscopic cells called “mycelium”--the fruit of which are mushrooms--recycle carbon, nitrogen, and other essential elements as they break down plant and animal debris in the creation of rich new soil. What Stamets has discovered is that we can capitalize on mycelium’s digestive power and target it to decompose toxic wastes and pollutants (mycoremediation), catch and reduce silt from streambeds and pathogens from agricultural watersheds (mycofiltration), control insect populations (mycopesticides), and generally enhance the health of our forests and gardens (mycoforestry and myco-gardening).
In this comprehensive guide, you’ll find chapters detailing each of these four exciting branches of what Stamets has coined “mycorestoration,” as well as chapters on the medicinal and nutritional properties of mushrooms, inoculation methods, log and stump culture, and species selection for various environmental purposes. Heavily referenced and beautifully illustrated, this book is destined to be a classic reference for bemushroomed generations to come.

  • Softcover: 356 pages

  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (October 1, 2005)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 1580085792

  • ISBN-13: 978-1580085793

  • Product Dimensions: 7.45 x 1 x 9 inches; 2.29 Pounds

books, recommended reading, mushroom, mushrooms, fungus, fungi, mycology, blog, recommended reading, friendly fungus photography, photography, radical mycology

Radical Mycology
"A Treatise on Seeing & Working with Fungi"
By: Peter McCoy

"Interwoven with short essays on the lessons of the fungi, Radical Mycology begins with chapters that explore the uniqueness of fungal biology, the critical ecological roles of micro and macro fungi, skills for accurately identifying mushrooms and mycorrhizal fungi, the importance of lichens as indicators of environmental health, and the profound influences that fungi have held on the evolution of all life and human cultures. With this foundation laid, the reader is then equipped to work with the fungi directly. Techniques for making potent fungal medicines, growing fermenting fungi for food, and cheaply cultivating mushrooms using recycled tools (and yet still achieving lab-quality results) are explored in-depth. Subsequent chapters grow far beyond the limits of other books on mushrooms. Detailed information on the principles and practices of what McCoy calls "regenerative natural mushroom farming"—a practice largely influenced by the design system of permaculture—is presented along with extensive information on cultivating mycorrhizal fungi and the science of mycoremediation, the application of fungi to mitigate pollution in our homes and environment. Concluding the book are deeper insights into the cultural effects that fungi present, from a philosophical reflection of fungal growth in the design of human societies, to an exhaustive examination of the history of psychoactive mushrooms.

  • Paperback: 672 pages

  • Publisher: Chthaeus Press (February 2, 2016)

  • Language: English

  • Product Dimensions: 8.25 x 10 x 1.5 inches


The Kingdom of Fungi
By: Jens H. Peterson

"The fungi realm has been called the "hidden kingdom," a mysterious world populated by microscopic spores, gigantic mushrooms and toadstools, and a host of other multicellular organisms ranging widely in color, size, and shape. The Kingdom of Fungi provides an intimate look at the world's astonishing variety of fungi species, from cup fungi and lichens to truffles and tooth fungi, clubs and corals, and jelly fungi and puffballs. This beautifully illustrated book features more than 800 stunning color photographs as well as a concise text that describes the biology and ecology of fungi, fungal morphology, where fungi grow, and human interactions with and uses of fungi."

  • Hardback: 272 pages

  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (April 28, 2013)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 9780691157542

  • ISBN-13: 978-0691157542

  • Product Dimensions: 8.71 x 0.9 x 9.8 inches; 2.75 pounds


Fantastic Fungi
"Expanding Consciousness, Alternative Healing, Environmental Impact"

By: Paul Stamets

"Paul Stamets, the world’s preeminent mushroom and fungi expert is joined by leading ecologists, doctors, and explorers such as Michael Pollan, Dr. Andrew Weil, Eugenia Bone, Fantastic Fungi director Louie Schwartzberg, and many more. Together these luminaries show how fungi and mushrooms can restore the planet’s ecosystems, repair our physical health, and renew humanity’s symbiotic relationship with nature."

  • Hardcover: 184 pages

  • Publisher: Earth Aware Editions (August 27, 2019)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 1683837045

  • ISBN-13: 978-1683837046

  • Product Dimensions: 7.75 x 0.9 x 10 inches; 2.25 Pounds

 Recommended Cookbooks


Fantastic Fungi Community Cookbook

By: Eugenia Bone and Evan Sung

"The Fantastic Fungi Community Cookbook is written by the people who know mushroom cooking best—mushroom lovers! These are the kinds of recipes you will actually cook for dinner: tried-and-true, family recipes representing cultures from all over the world. Recipes include:
       • Black Trumpet and Fig Pizza
       • Lobster Mushroom Chowdah
       • Chicken Chanterelle Paprikash
       • Chaga Chocolate Chip Cookies

The cookbook also features five thoughtful and engaging essays written by Eugenia that explore a wide range of topics, including mushroom cultivation and foraging. Following the path set by Louie Schwartzberg’s award-winning documentary, this cookbook will expand your appreciation of the fantastic world of fungi, their diff erent tastes and varieties, and their many applications, from flavoring drinks to replacing meat in recipes. The most diverse and comprehensive mushroom cookbook available, the Fantastic Fungi Community Cookbook is the perfect gift for anyone who is curious about the marvelous world of mushrooms and the magic they can make in the kitchen."

  • Hardcover: 264 pages

  • Publisher: Insight Editions (December 7, 2021)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 1647222958

  • ISBN-13: 978-1647222956

  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.1 x 10 inches; 3 pounds

 Recommended Children's Books


Humongous Fungus

By: Lynne Bodde and Wenjia Tang

"Not quite animals and not quite plants, the mysterious kingdom of fungi is full of secrets! Let’s unearth them together with this weird and wonderful book about mushrooms. 

Inside the pages of this children’s science and nature book, you’ll discover exactly what fungi are and more!

From tiny microbes to the largest living thing, fungi are everywhere! Without fungi, our ecosystem would not work. It provides food for plants and animals and creates a place for them to live. But beware, some types of fungi can destroy crops through fungal diseases or even change animals’ behavior. This fascinating foraging book for kids is sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained! 

Did you know that fungi are made to make medicine for humans? Or that the most mushrooms can be seen in autumn? This picture book about nature is packed with fun facts about fungi. It includes gross-out stories of fungal infections that kids will love, incredible facts about "bananageddon", crop disease, epidemics, and zombified ants! It’s the ultimate gift for children who are interested in nature and microorganisms.

  • Hardcover: 64 pages

  • Publisher: DK Children (August 17, 2021)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 0744033330

  • ISBN-13: 978-0744033335

  • Product Dimensions: 9.44 x 0.53 x 11.38 inches; 1.2 Pounds

 Recommended Documentaries


Fantastic Fungi
"The Mushroom Movie"

By: Louie Schwartzberg and Mark Monroe

"Fantastic Fungi is a consciousness-shifting film about the mycelium network that takes us on an immersive journey through time and scale into the magical earth beneath our feet, an underground network that can heal and save our planet. Through the eyes of renowned scientists and mycologists like Paul Stamets, best-selling authors like Michael Pollan, Eugenia Bone, Andrew Weil and others, we become aware of the beauty, intelligence and solutions that the fungi kingdom offers in response to some of our most pressing medical, therapeutic, and environmental challenges."

  • Director: Louie Schwartzberg

  • Language: English

  • Release date: October 11, 2019

  • Run time: 1 hour 12 minutes

  • Available to watch on Netflix and Amazon

 Recommended Websites

California Fungi
Site by: Michael Wood


"Welcome to MykoWeb, WWW pages devoted to the science of mycology (the study of the fungi) and the hobby of mushrooming (the pursuit of mushrooms).  It is a production of Michael Wood, a past president of the Mycological Society of San Francisco.  MykoWeb was started in the fall of 1995 and was one of the first internet mycology mushrooming sites."


 Fungi of North America & Europe
Site by: Roger Phillips


"Welcome to Rogers Mushrooms, the perfect reference tool to learn about and identify fungi, including mushrooms, truffles, puffballs and brackets. The site offers detailed information on 1,660 species of fungi located across Europe and North America compiled by expert mycologist, Roger Phillips and colleagues. The site has over 3,000 descriptive images showing specimens in various stages of growth and from different perspectives to aid identification. The site serves an active community of mushroom lovers so please feel free to upload your own pictures to the site. Roger Phillips is one of the world’s leading mushroom specialists, with over 40 years’ of expertise of studying fungi in the wild. Roger is considered a pioneer in the use of photography to help identify mushrooms and his books on the subject are considered the essential mycological encyclopedia for mushroom enthusiasts."


 Fungi of the World
Site by: Michael Kuo

" features comprehensive advice on everything from preserving mushrooms to taking spore prints. It also includes descriptions and keys for over 700 different mushrooms, some excellent photography, and sound advice. From a break down on mushroom toxins to some very sage warnings about eating any mushrooms you're not sure of (can be briefly summed up as "don't eat anything for a number of years until you REALLY know what you are doing") , to perhaps our favorite — an essay entitled "What's this thing in my yard" - which sets out to explain what folks are finding on their lawns and, more importantly, why they should leave them be."


Site by: Citizen Science

"iNaturalist is an American 501 nonprofit social network of naturalists, citizen scientists, and biologists built on the concept of mapping and sharing observations of biodiversity across the globe. iNaturalist may be accessed via its website or from its mobile applications."

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