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Mushrooming without Fear: The Beginner's Guide to Collecting Safe and Delicious Mushrooms Paperback – October 17, 2007


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Mushrooming without Fear: The Beginner's Guide to Collecting Safe and Delicious Mushrooms + National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms (National Audubon Society Field Guides) + Mushrooms Demystified
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (October 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602391602
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602391604
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alexander Schwab grew up in Switzerland and gained a master’s degree in philosophy and history at Aberdeen University. He now lives in the beautiful Emmental region of Switzerland and fills the gaps between fishing trips by working as a management consultant. His hobbies include mushrooming, cooking, exploring the countryside, and reading poetry. He is the author of Mushrooming without Fear, Dear Jim: Reflections on the Beauty of Angling, and Hook, Line, and Thinker.

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Customer Reviews

With all the pictures, this book is an easy read.
Technophile
Excellent book to learn more about wild mushroom picking without making dangerous mistakes.
Benjamin Ruiter
This book explained everything I wanted to know about mushrooming.
jerryo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Richard R. Powell on January 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book has some shortcomings. It doesn't cover many varieties of mushrooms, and it is ultra-conservative in the rules for collection. Still, for the beginner who wants to get out there and start hunting, this is the best book to start with.

Mushrooms Covered:

Cep or King Bolete
Red Cracked Bolete
Hen of the Woods
Larch Bolete
Bay Bolete
Birch Bolete
Chanterelle
Trumpet (Winter) Chanterelle
Hedgehog
Common Puffballs
Horn of Plenty
Cauliflower

Yep, that is the whole list. The good news is that these are all fairly common mushrooms, and some of the notes on each are really illuminating. For example there are tons of Boletes in the Pacific Northwest where I do my hunting, and telling them apart can be a real head scratcher. The photos and description of the white network on the stem of the King is very clear and makes identification almost foolproof.

Also, the section about ridges vs gills was helpful. Chanterelles have ridges and not gills, and since most hunters would love to bag some Chanterelles, this clear distinction is really helpful. The first time I was out with a guide we were looking for Chanterelles and I was told to look for ridges rather than gills. It sounds like a no-brainer when you say it, but in the field, when you are first starting out, it can actually get confusing. The three pages in this book that explain ridges are succinct and clear and about all you need to understand the distinction.

Maybe Alexander Schwab would consider doing a Mushrooming Without Fear 2 that would cover the same number of mushrooms this book does, but taking on some more challenging ones. My request would be for fairy Ring Mushrooms, Pine Mushrooms (White Matsutake), Aspen Bolete, Shaggy Mane, Oyster, and the Blewit.
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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 14, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I never write reviews although I have several books on mushrooming including a couple by Micheal Kuo which I also like very well.But I've decided that this book warrants my praise . It's a great little book with great color pictures and checklist guides for picking about 12 of the most popular varieties with the exception of Morels .
This book has taken away my fears about mushrooming and has even encouraged me and made me anxious to get started .
If after reading and following the guides in the book to the letter you happen to pick a poisonous variety,then you probably aren't following instructions.
I feel this book is almost a foolproof in it's simplicity you'll not be burdened with a lot of scientific jargain .
If you were ever curious about picking wild mushrooms but were afraid then BUY THIS BOOK
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By C. Walker on November 10, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was for the most beginning of beginners. They say to stay away from any gilled mushrooms (I love gilled mushrooms). My other criticism is that the book doesn't mention morel mushrooms which are not a gilled mushroom and in my top 10 of all the most delicious of the fungi and not that difficult to id.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Technophile on October 16, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are, indeed, hundreds of color pictures in this book (a must for field guides, in my opinion), and great step-by-step instructions. However, do not be misled... this is strongly oriented toward helping mushrooming beginners to get started. Only twelve (not 700+) types of mushrooms are identified, and while it seems to be a good selection I found myself wanting to be able to identify other mushrooms I've found, good or bad.

With all the pictures, this book is an easy read. I finished it in about an hour. The pictures and checklists are well organized.

In summary, I love the book and recommend it as a beginning mushrooming guide -- with caveats. It does a great (maybe overzealous) job of eliminating riskier candidates. However, even with the small number of mushrooms covered, it may be slightly oversimplified in spots. It would be discouraging to start into this hobby and not be able to find any of these twelve varieties, yet pass by other excellent candidates. Then again, you have to start somewhere...
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Richard Shannon on August 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
Though most poisonous mushrooms have gills, some boletes, mushroom family including the ceps, are also poisonous, and many of the best and most easily identified edibles have gills. Though good enough for a beginner who wants to learn the very basics. "All That the Rain Promises, and More..." by David Arora is a much better book for any purpose. I would leave this book on the shelf and buy Arora's.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Janice G. Montgomery on October 28, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Of the three mushroom reference books I purchased, I feel this one is the very best to help a person get started in the field. It is easy to read, has repeated warnings about what to harvest and what NOT to harvest, has pictures and is an all-around easy to use guide. I think every beginner should purchase this book. I do not think you will be disappointed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Julia Herbst on June 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book has clear guidelines and excellent photographs. No nonsense and easy to follow. As novice mushroom seekers who really just want to find snacks, this is a solid book to start with. No morels included - but they're easy to ID. Only wish would be a smaller size to stuff in a backpack. Worthy purchase!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Carlos Rupley on November 5, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been foraging for quite a while, and thought this book would help me move into harvesting mushrooms too. Unfortunately, it doesn't give enough information on the the very few species it actually covers. It also covers one species of bolete that has a fairly toxic look alike. I put the one I picked through all of the steps required to ID it, but decided that the cap was a little too red, so I threw it out. After reading other books that warned of this bolete, I was very glad that I had thrown it out. 100 Edible Mushrooms by Michael Kuo has a lot more information for beginners, and then goes on to cover harder ones too. Even Abundantly wild by Theresa Marrone (which is mostly about plants and isn't very good on ID) is much safer that this book.
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