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Mushroom [Kindle Edition]

Nicholas P. Money
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The overnight appearance of mushrooms in a meadow or on a suburban lawn is a marvelous sight. It is one of many awe-inspiring, magical processes that have evolved among the fungi, yet this group remains the least studied and most poorly understood kingdom of organisms. In Mushroom, Nicholas Money offers a vibrant introduction to the world of mushrooms, investigating the science behind these organisms as well as their enduring cultural and imaginative appeal. Beginning with the basics of mushroom biology, Money leads us through a history of mushroom research, painting portraits of the colorful characters involved in their study--among them, Beatrix Potter, the celebrated author and creator of Peter Rabbit, and Captain Charles McIlvaine, a Civil War veteran who engaged in a dangerous quest to determine the edibility of every mushroom in North America. Money also discusses the uses of mushrooms today, exploring their importance as food and medicine, their use as recreational drugs, and as the cause of horrific poisonings. A cultural, natural, and scientific history in one, Mushroom is a must-read for mycophiles, mushroom gatherers, and nature lovers alike.

Editorial Reviews


"Botanist Nicholas Money is unashamedly in thrall to the 'fungal sex organ'. In this brilliant scientific and cultural exploration, these organisms of rot and soil positively sparkle." - Nature

"This book was fascinating! The main cause of this is, without a doubt, the author, Nicholas P. Money. You can tell that this is the kind of professor that loves his craft." - Scientific American, Blog

"Mushroom is a compelling read for anyone with even a tinge of interest in the natural flavor of fungi." - Audubon Magazine

"At its core, Mushroom is an excellent natural history, but it's much more ... In a very short space, Money offers a fungus primer which would probably earn you an "A" in mycology (if you can retain all of the details of biology, chemistry and engineering) as well as a fascinating history of our relationship to this remarkable life form." - Corvallis Advocate

"Money offers preemptive reassurance that the magic of mushrooms will not be spoiled by revelation of their tricks, which he explains in some detail...he reveals his passion for mushrooms with a sheepishness that is unusual in nature writing. But mushrooms are unusual." -- SCIENCE

"As was the case with his earlier books (e.g., The Triumph of the Fungi, Feb'07; Mr. Bloomfield's Orchard, Feb'03), Money's recent book on mushrooms, designed to bring knowledge of fungi to nonmycologists, is excellent. ... The information is detailed and current. Highly recommended." -- Choice

About the Author

Nicholas P. Money is Professor of Botany at Miami University and author of The Triumph of the Fungi, Carpet Monsters and Killer Spores, and Mr. Bloomfield's Orchard.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1386 KB
  • Print Length: 228 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0199732566
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (October 24, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #871,149 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book for anyone interested in mushrooms January 1, 2012
I am a trained mycologist, so I wasn't sure if I'd get much from this book. I did get quite a lot out of it, though, as Dr. Money presents some very modern research as well as some old chestnuts. While I was reading this book, a friend of mine picked it up and started reading it. She was also quite enchanted by it, so it also has appeal for those who are not mycologists of any stripe. I found this book to be quite entertaining. This book won't teach you how to identify mushroom-forming species, but you will learn a lot about many of the main popular ideas about mushrooms (i.e., they are poisonous, they appear on pizzas, they are hallucinogenic, they can cure cancer).
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book December 18, 2011
Even though I have been interested in mushrooms for last 33 years (probably because of my Eastern European background), I learned a lot of interesting information from this book - e.g. the role of Buller's drop. Author describes history of interaction between humans and mushrooms really well and he does not avoid the topic of mushroom toxicity, which he vividly describes on several famous cases.
The only possible issue - I liked his humor, but I am not sure if every reader will.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for mycophiles. January 31, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Professor Money's latest book is another delightful addition to his previous offerings about the fascinating biology of mushrooms and the relationship between them and humankind. His writing is readily accessible to the general reader, often amusing and always informative and entertaining. His is willing to challenge conventional thinking and views the natural world, our level of ignorance about it and human behavior with a suitably skeptical eye. This book should be read by anyone interested in natural history and especially the kingdom of fungi.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For the love of mushrooms, buy this book! November 9, 2013
Absolutely fascinating and engrossing book. I particularly enjoyed Money's succinct, humorous, and informative journey through the history of mycology; his ability to contextualize meaningful historical mycological moments is wonderful. On the other hand, one of the author's true strengths is his ability to break down complex biological functions of mushrooms in a way that not "dumbed down", yet is accessible to lay people. For me it has whetted my appetite for the science behind the mushrooms I have fallen in love with. My only criticisms: When Money addresses the cultural and medicinal purposing of mushrooms, his cutting humor and keen evaluations slide dangerously close to straight cynicism and narrow reductionism. All in all, a great book for any amateur student of mycology- a rich starting point.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Massive misrepresentation, awkward opinion. August 20, 2012
I had hope this book to be a gem. But alas, it's a stinker. I have read and enjoyed the author's previous works, and was puzzled by what seemed to be a chip on the author's shoulder towards medicinal mushrooms and bioremediation. No doubt these areas of study are in relative infancy. But I was disappointed how the author degraded the work and research of mycologists in this area. I almost wondered if there was a personal gripe expressed in the pages.

Anyway, I thought the opinion portion of the book soured the interesting parts. And for that reason, it's a stinker.
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More About the Author

Welcome to my book page. I'm a 53-year-old, breathtakingly attractive, Anglo-American author of a sextet of books on fungi and other microorganisms, and several works-in-progress. A handful of unpublished writings are available on My work is defined by my love of science and belief in its power to make sense of life, the universe, and everything else.

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