Customer Reviews: 100 Cool Mushrooms
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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on February 21, 2016
Decent book, pretty pix..
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on November 10, 2015
Not a field guide, but an EXCELLENT book to browse and learn about some of the coolest North American mushrooms. Each entry has a conversational description by one of the authors (often quite funny), followed by the field guide description. A great supplement to a field guide library for a more intimate look at a species. Very satisfying pictures.
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on March 19, 2013
If you like mushrooms/fungi like I do then you're going to need some slightly different reading material for your bathroom. Take a poop, learn a fact or two. great deal.
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on December 16, 2011
Michael Kuo is the Bill Bryson of mycology! The writing is intelligent and infomative, while still accessible - with a clever wit and colorful language. It's refreshing to read a book by someone who clearly has a passion for what he's writing about, and that shines in the meticulous attention to detail, the thoughtful rhetoric and the truly stunning pictures.

I'm no mushroom expert, but I love Kuo's books. I recommend them to anyone who hunts/eats/loves mushrooms and the woods. A great addition to my bookshelf!
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on June 9, 2011
There is nothing harder to write than a guide to mushrooms because of the diverse audience that is attracted to such works! The casual reader might be intrigued by the beautiful photos but perplexed by the scientific vocabulary needed to give an accurate description of the fungus. There is also a large population of "amateur" mushroom hunters with diverse backgrounds and varying levels of mycological sophistication. Some of these "amateurs" are more knowledgeable about certain groups of mushrooms and their field characteristics than many professional mycologists at universities and federal laboratories! For these people, a precise description of a fungus using the proper scientific vocabulary is essential to distinguish among species, many of which appear very similar until you get to the microscopic level. The authors of "100 Cool Mushrooms" have produced a beautiful little book that can be appreciated at all different levels. The photography is stunning, and the anecdotes in the first part of the description are engaging, entertaining, and often humorous while still imparting good scientific knowledge. For the more knowledgeable "amateur" and for professional mycologists, the scientific descriptions are concise, accurate, and use the terminology that we would expect in a high quality scientific publication. To those readers who would like to have more definitions of scientific terminology, I recommend Michael Kuo's other book, "100 Edible Mushrooms," in which he explains many terms, as well as the ecology and biology of many interesting members of the Kingdom Fungi! I highly recommend this book.
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on June 4, 2011
I thought this book was absolutely fascinating! Every page had a new cool mushroom and I just kept turning those pages looking forward to the next one. Some were cool because of their size, some because of their oddities, some because of their color, some because of their growth habits.

For instance, Clavaria zollingeri looks like a purple underwater coral. Omphalotus illudens glows in the dark. Mycena haematopus exudes a bloody looking juice. Panaeolus semiovatus grows on horse dung. You get the idea!

The book is written for the person who likes interesting things in nature. Each mushroom has a visual description, often written with humor. Each mushroom also has a technical description, which might be over the heads of some, but offers scientific details for the more serious mushroom enthusiast.

"100 Cool Mushrooms" is lively and fun!
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on May 26, 2011
I really liked the photographs in this book but found the detailed descriptions to be more than I could read through. This would be a great book for someone who wants to know everything about each mushroom. I liked all the pictures but would have preferred less writing.
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on May 26, 2011
My daughter surprised me with this book as she knew I love mushrooms and she loves weird nature. While we both enjoyed the fabulous photography, I really enjoyed the level of detailed information. We are now looking forward to the arrival of 100 Edible Mushrooms as we just ordered that book. Hoping I can put it to good use in the woods behind the house.
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on May 25, 2011
I would like to preface this review with I am not a Mushroom expert. I really enjoyed reading the descriptions of each of the mushrooms and could instantly tell exactly why they were so cool with out a technical background. The photography is striking and amazing. The descriptions were a little difficult at times to understand, however they clearly demonstrated the authors' humor, somewhat academic at times and other times not.

I felt the book was informative, and learned a great deal about mushrooms I wouldn't normally have seen or read about. All in all I'd say the book was well written and beautifully laid out. Two thumbs up to the photography...the color and clarity was amazing.
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on May 25, 2011
This is a hard book to classify. It is certainly not a field guide. There is no key, although the descriptions of the mushrooms depicted are probably as detailed as in any book I have seen.

It is not a "coffee table" book. It has some very attractive photos, but most of the photos are designed to introduce you to that particular mushroom, and in many cases illustrate distinguishing characteristics. The majority of the mushrooms are accorded two or three photos depicting stages of development, variations of color, spores, or just different parts of the fruiting body.

So how to classify it? It does indeed have photos, descriptions, and interesting information about 100 mushrooms. Some are well known, but the majority are rather obscure and may not be described or depicted in most mushroom books. There is no attempt to cover any particular genus; they are not even sorted by genus. The mushrooms are arranged alphabetically! The definition of "cool" is an arbitrary decision of the authors who state in the introduction that they think all mushrooms are cool. But with the inclusion of many mushrooms you have probably never seen, and likely may not, as well as the random humor, this is a very interesting and readable book. So I would just have to classify it as a very "cool" book.

The book does not attempt to make any references to edibility or, with few exceptions, to toxicity. It is a fast read if you confine yourself to the interesting and entertaining comments about each mushroom, reserving the very detailed descriptions to help identify the possible rare finds you may make.

Don't buy it if you are looking for a field guide or a guide to edible mushrooms. But if you want an enjoyable book to read, don't miss it.
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