Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures
by Merlin Sheldrake Author
Fungi are neither plant nor animal, but are vital to nearly all living systems. They are the most humble of organisms, breaking down the refuse of other species and returning their nutrients to the soil, and at the same time, they can be incomprehensibly expansive: the single largest living organism on the planet is a fungus that spreads for hundreds of miles across the Blue Mountains in northeastern Oregon and southeast Washington. In this fascinating introduction to the world of fungi, author Merlin Sheldrake takes the reader on a journey into this hidden and often overlooked world to reveal its secrets. Not only do fungi perform mind-boggling functions in the natural world, like allowing trees to communicate with each other through mycelial networks, but they are pivotally important for the processes and products we take for granted in our day to day life. Without fungi, there would be no yeast, no bread, no beer. The process that converts sugar into alcohol could not take place. Without fungi, we wouldn't have penicillin, a medication that has saved countless lives since its discovery. It's possible even, that without fungi, human evolution would have occurred very differently. Sheldrake delves into the mysteries of psychedelic mushrooms, exploring the science of these powerful natural drugs and their use over the course of human existence. For any budding mycologist, this book is a must read.
“True to his name, Merlin takes us on a magical journey deep into the roots of Nature—the mycelial universe that exists under every footstep we take in life. Merlin is an expert storyteller, weaving the tale of our co-evolution with fungi into a scientific adventure. Entangled Life is a must-read for citizen scientists hoping to make a positive difference on this sacred planet we share.”—Paul Stamets, author of Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World
“Entangled Life is a special book and Merlin is, as his name suggests, a magical writer. Through his writing I feel connected to nature through a thousand invisible threads”—Russell Brand
“I fell in love with this book. Merlin is a scientist with the imagination of a poet and a beautiful writer. . . . This is a book that, by virtue of the power of its writing, shifts your sense of the human. . . . It will inspire a generation to enter mycology.”—Michael Pollan (Bay Area Book Festival, 2020)
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