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North American Mushrooms: A Field Guide To Edible And Inedible Fungi (Falconguide) 1st Edition

42 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0762731091
ISBN-10: 0762731095
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North American Mushrooms: A Field Guide To Edible And Inedible Fungi (Falconguide) + Mushrooms Demystified + National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms (National Audubon Society Field Guides)
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

With more than 600 brilliant color photographs, detailed line drawings, informative and illuminating descriptions, and critical identification keys, NORTH AMERICAN MUSHROOMS is the definitive guide to the fungi of the United States and Canada. This comprehensive book for expert and amateur alike offers tips on how, where, and when to collect wild mushrooms; suggestions for culinary uses; a section on mushroom toxins; and pictorial keys and glossaries to aid the user in precise identification. This is a must-have reference book for anyone interested in wild mushrooms, their uses, and their habitats.

Dr. Orson K. Miller, Jr. is one of the preeminent mycologists in the United States. His wife and research partner, Hope H. Miller is the author of a wild mushroom cookbook.

About the Author

Dr. Orson K. Miller Jr. is one of the premier mycologists in the United States. His career has included work with the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, many books and articles on mushrooms, and national television and radio appearances as a mushroom expert. He taught biology and mycology at Virginia Tech for many years.

Hope Miller is a mushroom expert in her own right and is the author of cookbooks featuring the bounty of North American mushrooms.

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Product Details

  • Series: Falconguide
  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Falcon Guides; 1st edition (May 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762731095
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762731091
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Marshal Berthier on August 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a good book in the right hands. If you are looking for the definative book on mushrooms, it hasn't been published. The closest equivalent to definative is the David Arora Mushrooms Demystified. This book by Miller is a FIELD GUIDE (and maybe 1/5 the size and weight of Demystified), it is very, very short on the number of species covered ('only' hundreds out of thousands). Do not use this book to decide if you have harvested an edible mushroom. There are a great many edible mushrooms that look like a great many inedible and poisonious mushrooms and YOU CANNOT DO IDENTIFICATION BY COMPARING PICTURES.

Understand I am not in any way dissing this book; Miller knew his stuff, and this is an excellent guide. I bought a copy when it was first available, and it has already seen several days in the field. I learned about it from a well respected expert who had also purchased a copy. But I also already had a well used copy of Arora, and I have been foraging for many years, and I have gotten instruction from people like Larry Evens, Gary Lincoff and David Arora, and I STILL MAKE MISTAKES. The critical feature of a field guide is the Key that walks you through the identification process. This book (Miller) has a somewhat simplier key, that I can run through quickly (and larger type which is nice for old eyes in the middle of the forest). I would never eat off the identification from this book or any other. I have already found semi-common specimens where I know the species, that Miller doesn't cover. It's a nice addition to a library that also includes something specific for your region, plus Arora's Demystified. I would take the time to put a plastic cover on it, and it is a good bit heavier than the Audubon guide. However, if it comes to it, I will be carrying this guide in my backpack rather than any of the others I own (and I own a bunch of mushroom books).
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Justin Robert Rothboeck on May 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
[A note on my perspective -- I'm interested in learning about, identifying and collecting all species of mushrooms, whether they're edible or not. This review is generally geared toward people like me, with a broad interest. If you just want to collect chanterelles and morels, there may be better options.]

I've been mushroom hunting for two years now and this is the fourth mushrooming book I've owned. I have looked at a number of other guides in bookstores and libraries. The first two books you should buy are "Mushrooms Demystified" (MD) and "All the Rain Promises and More," both by Arora. Demystified is the bible, and All the Rain is the pocket book that slips into your back pocket when you're out in the field. The two books are linked, e.g. "to learn more [about a mushroom in Rain] see MD pages xxx-xxx.

This Falcon guide is a good supplement, and has many more color pictures than either of the Arora books (which are fun to look at, but should NOT be used to identify mushrooms). There are two major upsides to this book:

First, it almost exclusively uses scientific terminology and names. If you look at enough books and talk to enough people, it's easy to get confused by mushrooms that have five different common names. Although the Arora guides supply the scientific terms too, he also uses common names a lot. The Falcon guide basically forces you to learn scientific names and terminology which is important to avoid confusion and possibly risky mistakes.

Second, the authors of the Falcon guide have personally collected and sampled a large number of the mushrooms featured in their book. They can provide a unique perspective about the edibility and habitat of mushrooms identified through the Arora books. Other than the mushrooms I'm already very familiar with, I'll definitely be using the Falcon guide to learn a bit more about any mushroom I bring home to identify.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on July 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
If only one field guide to North American mushrooms is to be obtained for a reference holding, make it NORTH AMERICAN MUSHROOMS: A FIELD GUIDE TO EDIBLE AND INEDIBLE FUNGI. Over six hundred color photos and line drawings offer important identification keys and a comprehensive survey of where and how to gather wild mushrooms. Pictorial keys throughout enhance suggestions for location and identification as well as culinary use, and come from one of the most respected mycologists in this country, also a professor of Botany and Curator of Fungi. He's written six books on fungi and has authored 105 new species new to science in his papers: his is a masterpiece including sturdy binding for solid field use.

Diane C. Donovan

California Bookwatch
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kathy J. Olson on March 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
Overall, this book is great for the beginner. It includes great color photographs of every mushroom covered. Though it contains only 180 species of mushrooms across North America, it is still a great field guide for the beginner. The book also contains a very easy and clear-cut method for classifying the mushrooms that you found. It is definitely good classification and identification practice for the beginner. Overall, it is a good field guide with nice color pictures.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Magellan HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a good book on identifying common mushrooms but please be aware that you cannot learn to truly do this without learning from an expert--either someone who has extensive field training under an expert or is an accomplished academic in the area themselves. My training came from the late great, amateur mycologist, Herb Saylor, and also the eminent professor, Dr. Harry Thiers. I took all of Dr. Thiers's mycology classes back in the early 80s before he retired, and it was an honor and a priviledge to study under him. I have many good general mycology field guides in my library but none are a substitute for field and lab experience under an experienced expert, especially if you are new to the field and are hunting primarily for consumption and not as a naturalist or amateur scientist, as a mistake there could be fatal. For example, on at least one occasion I encountered a small group that was looking for hallucinogenic Psilocybe mushrooms and they had gathered gallerinas by mistake. The problem there is that although small, Gallerinas still contain the same deadly toxin that Amanitas have and although eating one or two probably won't kill you, if you eat enough of them it could. That having been said, having a few good field guides will get you started familiarizing yourself with the most common mushrooms in your area. Miller covers many of the important species in this book, although for brevity's sake many less common species were omitted. All in all a decent field guide if you remember never to eat anything you are not absolutely sure of. Remember, "When in doubt, throw it out."
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