This book’s introduction reveals the author’s interest in human interactions with wild mushrooms as well as fungal roles in the environment, and he signals his belief in the power of stories to explain such phenomena. In the ensuing chapters, Marley’s storytelling skill informs and entertains equally well. The book’s nineteen chapters are clustered in six parts: (I) “Mushrooms and Culture,” (II) “Mushrooms as Food,” (III) “Dangerously Toxic, Deadly Interesting,” (IV) “Mushrooms and the Mind,” (V) “Mushrooms within Ecosystems,” and (VI), “Tools for a New World.” Each section is independent, although reading them in sequence conveys the continuity of the book.

Part I on mushrooms and culture provides the historical setting, detailing how present attitudes about wild mushrooms in America can vary in keeping with cultural traditions. Overcoming mycophobia entails joys and hazards, both well illustrated by Marley’s stories. Part...

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