Member Reviews

Mushrooms is a well written and clear guide to edible and poisonous mushrooms written by Liz O'Keefe. Released 4th June 2024 by Amber Books, it's 192 pages and is be available in paperback format.

This is a layman accessible guide to mushrooms and includes what to look for and (just as importantly) what to avoid. Additionally, it presents the information in an appealingly direct way which is accessible and understandable.

The book's introduction covers what mushrooms are botanically, the different types of fungi to be found and how they interact with their environment as well as what types of trees they grow with/on, identifying structures, and how and where to find them. There is a definite emphasis on safety in identifying, handling, storing, using, and eating the foraged fungi. The two main sections of the book are separated into edible and poisonous mushrooms.

Graphically the book is full of clear color photos which will help with ID and location. The field guide sections contain many color photos of each species including closeups and at different stages of development. Each entry includes the name, the binomial (Latin) name, common name(s), identifying descriptions, look-alikes, and uses including some taste descriptors.

Five stars. Interesting and useful, with clear and specific directions. This would be a good selection for library acquisition, smallholders, self-sufficiency folks, gardening and foraging readers, and similar.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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I love cooking and eating all different kinds of mushrooms and am mushroom superfan. This is not my first time reading a nonfiction, factual book about mushrooms but when I saw it Netgalley, I had to request it. I really want to try all the different mushrooms I have not experienced since completing this book. Mushrooms are good for your body and have so many benefits. They really are a superfood!

Highly recommended! Great photos too!

Thanks to Liz O'Keefe, Amber Books and Netgalley for an ARC in exhcnage for an honest review.

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Being a cautious individual, and hopefully not daft, I shall still stick to Atomic Shrimp videos and watch him doing the foraging for mushrooms, rather than risk it. Besides, I hate the taste of them and they don't agree with me either. This has not one but two prominent waivers before taking us through a spotter's guide of the main edible mushrooms, and then having survived that we get the toadstools – basically, the fungi that are what we very much should not eat. Visuals are superb, and the concise captions and labelling is what I'd expect from Amber as well, even if this is in a format new to me from their output. Before now we've had tours round certain life forms, but a field guide approach like this, with introductory paragraph for each fungus, and identical databank for all, concerning when found and at what size etc, is new.

Do we cover the greater proportion of all the types of mushroom? Certainly not. Do we learn not how the worst are toxic, but why? No. But do we see box-outs for their medicinal use, potential future purpose, and some of the lore of the fairy ring? Definitely. So on the whole this is to be recommended – I dare say some similar books are much more comprehensive, and you have to take my utter ignorance about that on board when I give it a strong rating – it's a healthy four stars from this mycophobe.

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Mushrooms are extraordinary and I have loved them for a long time so I was really excited to learn more about fabulous fungi.

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Thank you for the ARC of this book! After finishing it, I can honestly say, this book will get you excited to start foraging! As someone who just recently started foraging for morels, i had no idea there were so many varities of edible mushrooms. The book explains each species perfectly and the pictures are beautiful! This book will be an excellent resource for anyone who's interested in identifying mushrooms.

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Mushrooms by Liz O'Keefe is a beautiful and inspiring introduction to mushroom identification and foraging, my most fulfilling activities. Nothing is more gratifying than being immersed in nature, researching and photographing edible and toxic fungi. Another obvious benefit is enjoying them in multitudinous ways on the table. I absorb every book on the subject as it is impossible to get enough. O'Keefe includes important general information and warnings as well as edible and toxic sections (toxic are at least as crucial to know). She details miraculous mycelium, mushroom culture and folklore, the use in poisons and medicine and new innovations such as the mushroom death suit. I love that new fungi are being discovered all the time, including the Queen's hedgehog (hedgehogs are easily in my top 5 to eat).

The bulk of the book focuses on individual mushrooms including photographs as well as their characteristics, names, edibility, season and size. Many of my favourite choice edibles are included as well as gorgeous toxic ones which are a pleasure to photograph. Nature is a wondrous thing and I like that the author encourages spending time in it.

This book would be an excellent addition to a beginner's library but also would appeal to experienced foragers who ache to learn more!

My sincere thank you to Amber Books Ltd. for providing me with a digital copy of this incredible book.

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Fascinating look at both poisonous and edible mushrooms. I love the names of the mushrooms and the pages with the lore were my favorite. I requested this book for the photos, as I am working on mushroom paintings and I ended up learning a lot of cool things!
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC.

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This accessible and well laid out guide to mushrooms is an ideal entry-level guide for people with an interest in fungi or anyone who enjoys the outdoors and might want to learn more about this aspect of it. The book is divided into two sections - one for edible mushrooms, and one for toxic ones. There are general sections interspersed about topics like the use of mushrooms in medicine and cooking, and advice on how to go foraging. However there are regular disclaimers throughout stressing the importance of not eating mushrooms unless totally certain of the identification and not relying just on this book.

Each mushroom type has lovely photographs and labelled pictures, and a small amount of written information such as the type of environment they grow in and the countries/regions they might be found in. I'd hoped for a bit more detail about good locations to find particular mushrooms in the UK and elsewhere, but the advantage of this presentation is that it can be used by anyone anywhere to find mushrooms in their own local area.

It's probably too basic for people who are already experienced in foraging or mushroom identification but it's great for anyone new to it and would make a nice gift.

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This is awesome. A great book filled with so much information. My daughter loved it, as she’s a fungi fanatic.

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I received Mushrooms as an ARC from Amber Books via NetGalley's Catalogue.

I immediately started reading through it as I love mushrooms and am constantly looking for new varieties to incorporate into my meals. What struck me right away were the beautiful, clear pictures of each specimen from various angles, making it easy to see fi you have found that specific mushroom in nature.

O'Keefe gives us a detailed description of each mushroom, along with pictures from various angles and a box labeled "characteristics" which includes the common name, scientific name, whether or not it is edible, when it is in season and the size of the 'shroom. This is the ultimate field guide to edible mushrooms, but I also enjoyed sections such as "Mushrooms as medicine" as this is a topic that I am currently exploring (as I'm being bombarded by the RYZE tea commercials on social media). I also loved reading about how mushrooms have been used historically by humans and how they appear in folklore. You can tell that this is a topic near and dear to O'Keefe and that they spent YEARS researching and learning about all of these different mushrooms.

I could see myself using this with my older students in grades 4,5, 6 when we go out on field trips to places such as parks and fields. We like to go out an identify birds and trees, this would add a new component to our nature walks. I would also like to purchase a copy for myself to have so that I could easily identify the mushrooms I find near my home.

If you are interested in learning more about mushrooms, I would wholeheartedly recommend this book. I think this book would also be a great addition to any science classroom or anyone who cooks with mushrooms.

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Mushrooms are super cool, and this book had so many cool pictures and good info on them. I want to try each kind and see how the tastes are.

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Liz O'Keefe's book "Mushrooms" is solely responsible for now giving me a complete and utter fascination with these varied and functional fungi. From the essential contribution of mushroom decomposition ot our eco-systems to uses by NASA to create homes for use in space, these quiet little organisms are powerhouses

The most important phrase in the book is of course "If in doubt, leave it out" as O'Keefe takes us through a fascinating journey of Mushrooms as food and medicine, the different types and uses and which ones you really, really need to stay far, far away from

There are stunning pictures, covering more than just your oyster mushrooms, chanterelles and trompettes. I was utterly captivated to learn about the Scarlet Elf Cap, Slippery Jack, Lilac Coloured Wood Blewit, Puffball and Parasol. I mean, with names like that, what is not to love?

I really enjoyed the section on Mushrooms in folklore (especially as Alice in Wonderland is my favourite book of all time) and the section on contemporary uses for mushrooms, such as an eco-friendly leather and growing bricks.

This book is phenomenal!

Edit - This book is so good, that I have been raving about it to my bestie and I have the ppb on pre-order for release day!

Thank you to Netgalley, Amber Books Ltd and Liz O'Keefe for this outstanding ARC. My review is left voluntarily and all opinions are my own

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