SCIENCES

Mushrooming: An Illustrated Guide to the Fantastic, Delicious, Deadly, and Strange World of Fungi

The Experiment Mar. 2023. 240p. ISBN 9781615199587. $24.95. NAT HIST
COPY ISBN
Borsato (Outdoor School: Contemporary Environmental Art) and Oseid (What We See in the Stars) take a joyful, artistic approach to the enjoyment of mushrooms and their inherent qualities. This is not a field guide; it’s short-form creative nonfiction presented in alphabetical order with accompanying beautiful illustrations. Readers should not expect to be able to confidently identify various mushrooms, or the occasional non-chloroform plant, slime mold, or symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY), but they will be treated to tidbits that will likely make them pause and express amazement. The art in this book deserves its own gallery space. Readers who experience trypophobia, a fear of holes, should note that images throughout the book detail the spots, frills, and holes in mushrooms. The book also touches upon a wide range of subjects such as feminism, whiteness, and death by mushroom hunting not caused by ingesting poisonous mushrooms.
VERDICT This book would complement environmental art and nature lovers’ collections. It also pairs well with works about Beatrix Potter’s artwork, Paul Stamets’s contributions to mycology, and Eugenia Bone’s Mycophilia. A beautiful artistic exploration and tribute to mushrooms for their own beauty and value.
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