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wildmushroomonline.co.uk Book Review, Wild Mushroom Identification Book Review, Field Guide to Edible Mushrooms of Britain and Europe by Peter Jordan
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Wild Mushroom Identification Book Review, Field Guide to Edible Mushrooms of Britain and Europe by Peter Jordan

The book publishers (NewHollandPublishers.com) have recently sent me a new book on identifying wild mushrooms for review.click here to see it

I am really delighted this book has been published as it sets a new standard for which other book publishers will need to follow. That being said, it still leaves a small amount of room for improvement but even so, I give this book a solid 9.5/10 for quality, information, ease of use and value.
 
The book is by the late great Peter Jordan. His many years of experience and notes have been put together superbly to provide a really solid all round book.
 
One of the issues I have had with other books on Wild Mushrooms is that they have not fully covered the fungi I would expect. No book (unless massive) can cover every species however, this book manages to cover the main species I want to know about. It is good practice to have at least 3 books so you can cross reference anyway and as said above, no one book has it all.
 
From the outset the book sets itself apart from other books with the exceptionally well thought-out layout of each Fungi. There is either a full page or on many instances, two pages (always on opposing leafs, never on the page turn) on each species with a clear layout providing a nice overview of the key facts on edibility, location where they can be found, size and main identification features. It then provides between one and three images. The images are exceptional quality, probably the best I have seen in any book. Then finally it provides some detailed text along with a clear warning if there is a poisonous similar variety which one should be aware of.
 
The book starts with very useful and well written guides to mushrooms,their differing parts, how to collect them, where and when to hunt for them and also a useful bit on how to use the book to locate your species.
 
The middle sector deals with the actual species - broken into two sections (edible and poisonous).
 
At the end of there are some nice recipes and cooking advice along with storage guides to preserving wild mushrooms at home.
 
A couple of very minor things that I would say would be good (although this is just a personal view from having many books on the subject). One would be to have a detailed chart (perhaps pullout) to show how all the species covered relate to each other - in effect showing their family tree and show a page number under each mushroom along with a few key identification point . I have found this feature very useful in another book I have. (which again highlights to the need to have more than one book)
 
The other thing would be to include a small image of the poisonous relative on the same page as the edible one - just as a quick reference to save continual flicking back and forth to see the two pictures.
 
Apart from that I can wholeheartedly say "go and buy this book" - any fungi fan planning to go out foraging should have this in their collection. It is a handy size (between A4 and A5) so will fit in a knapsack or basket and so can be a field guide to.
 
 
 
 
Here are the top five books I highly recommend for wild mushroom identification:
 
1) Field Guide to Edible Mushrooms of Britain and Europe  - Great layout with superb images - Peter Jordan
2) Mushroom Picker's Foolproof Field Guide  - A good all round book - Peter Jordan
3) The Mushroom Book - This one is a proper belter with loads and loads of good technical data - Thomas Laesse
4) Complete Mushroom Book: The Quiet Hunt  - A lovely book by a lovely man. Antonio Carluccio
5) The River Cottage Handbook - Mushrooms - Always a favourite from Hugh's fungi specialist friend, John Wright

It is important to have at least 3 book so you can cross reference and cover as many species as possible


 
wildmushroomonline.co.uk Comments
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Posted By,  Eye Knew Peter on December 21,2014
 
I knew Peter Jordan very well - he first used to run a pub in Norfolk before retiring to live at Reydon nr Southwold in Suffolk.
I would agree his Field Guide to Edible Mushrooms is one of the best for those who choose to forage but he had a lot of help from other people whom he failed to properly give credit to. On a real foray, Peter's limited knowledge really came to the fore.

Peter sadly died some years ago now, but it is how he died which should be of importance to you - he had bowel cancer but I am loath to speculate on what could have been the cause, but obviously eating wild fungi never helped (keep it at bay).
Southwold also happens to be situated just to the north of Sizewell A & B nuclear power stations and with the predominant winds blowing from the South-West most of the permitted airborne radiation released will be blowing over Southwold.
Boletes, especially the Bay Bolete, are known to absorb quite large amounts of caesium.
You make up your own mind.
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Wild Mushroom Identification - Recommended Books for All Skill Levels:
Every amateur mycologist should have a decent library of books, here are the top five books I highly recommend for wild mushroom identification:
 
1) Field Guide to Edible Mushrooms of Britain and Europe (Field Guides)  - Great layout with superb images - Peter Jordan
3) Mushrooms: A comprehensive guide to mushroom identification  - This one is a proper belter with loads and loads of good technical data - Roger Phillips
4) Complete Mushroom Book: The Quiet Hunt   - A lovely book by a lovely man. Antonio Carluccio
5) Mushrooms: River Cottage Handbook No.1 - Always a favourite from Hugh's fungi specialist friend, John Wright

It is important to have at least 3 books so you can cross reference and cover as many species as possible