Princeton University Press often creates gorgeous books, and this title is no exception. Part textbook, part work of art, The Kingdom of Fungi by Jens H. Petersen is a fine resource for anyone curious about these oft-neglected organisms.
After a lifetime of identifying species from bats to mosses using images produced to fit the size constraints of a field guide, I found The Kingdom of Fungi to be a visual cornucopia. The large format shows lush full-color illustrations of fine mycological details to their best advantage. I found the close-ups of rusts, smuts, molds, and other small fungi to be revelations, in particular – I (and I suspect many readers) have never really given a mold my full attention before.
The text is straightforward and concise, easy to understand and suitable for those who want to learn the basics. I almost regret that it was not more in-depth, but given the wide range of material covered – from taxonomy to ecology to reproduction to the vast potential array of as-yet undiscovered fungi in the world – and the already large size of the volume, anything other than an overview might have turned the book into a back-breaker for librarians and Amazon employees. That said, expect this book to whet, rather than slake, your appetite for information on its vast, wide-ranging subject matter.
Available in print or as an eBook.
The Kingdom of Fungi
by Jens H. Petersen.
Princeton University Press. 2013