Like those who see fractals everywhere, evangelical mycologist Merlin Sheldrake sees fungi and fungi patterns repeated in everything from research paths to thinking processes. And he has me convinced he’s right to do so. I’m admittedly a fungi-phile, and I’ve always been fascinated by mushrooms. Sheldrake, who has also been enamored of them since childhood, has researched them extensively and helps us understand the allure of the truffle (and the value of the dogs that sniff them out). He has us contemplating potential cures for mental illness in common mushrooms that grow everywhere. Fungi have been ignored for far too long, he says. And our survival as a species may depend upon tapping into their amazing potential as pollutant annihilators and as renewable resources.
I enjoyed the book immensely, for its information, of course, but also for Sheldrake’s enthusiasm and engaging style. He even gives rough instructions for making wine using the fungus from old books in libraries. I highly recommend it to both fellow fungi lovers and to philosophers.