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A Field Guide to Mushrooms: North America (Peterson Field Guides) Rei Sub Edition
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Although this guide should be on every mushroom enthusiast's shelves, a better beginners guide might be Roger Phillips' photographic book which has now appeared in a revised edition (on Amazon.com: ISBN 1554071151). Phillips provides 1000 photographs compared to this guide's 700 illustrations. However, Phillips is rather large to take into the field except in a backpack. Bear in mind that no fungus guide is comprehensive - each treats a selection of species - so it is wise to have a good selection in order to be in with a chance of correct identification.
So, until a compact photographic guide to fungi appears, this tried and tested Peterson guide will continue to fill a niche in the mushroom hunter's library.
I guess two things rub me the wrong way a little: the color plates are inserted together in the center of the book, which is fairly typical for this sort of book (black-and-white, paperback-style for the text and copy, while the plates are more expensive glossy color), but I find that cramming so many illustrations on each color plate makes for a confusing search, and I also feel like at this point in time they really should use proper photographs in these guidebooks. Because when identifying mushrooms, as the old phrase goes, the devil is often in the details, and paintings are great for a lot of things but details ain't one of them. Honestly if you have even a modest amount of experience foraging for mushrooms the chances of you mistakely eating something dangerous is slim anyway, but having an artist's version of a particular mushroom as opposed to a photograph of the real thing isn't helping much.
In other words, I wouldn't want a beginner to use this.
The other thing that confuses me is this: As an owner of a pretty good stack of mushroom guides (and an experienced forager), I can tell you that there are always discrepencies between the guides over the degree of edibility of some species of mushrooms. Usually though the discrepency is small, maybe one guide says something is edible, while another says edible but it gives a lot of people a headache or something similar. I found myself with this guide really taken aback by what I thought was WAY too much caution with some species... let me be clear also that this is my opinion.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My wife loves this book. We already have the edible plants one. Great addition to it.Published 12 days ago by Amazon Customer
This book is amazing! I purchased a few like it and this one is by far the best. It has TONS of pictures and edibility information in here. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Cory
not as impressed as I was from skimming this book initially. First glance just flipping through, it does have great illustrations. Read morePublished 2 months ago by JP
This book is great if your looking to learn mushrooms and the small paper back size is perfect for tossing in the back pack while I'm out hiking in case I find something new !!Published 2 months ago by a dean