Thus far, I’ve mostly concentrated my “book of the week” posts on gardening texts.
Today I’ll share instead one of my absolute favorite mushroom foraging books: All That the Rain Promises and More…
I mean, look at that cover! Can’t you tell he’s my kind of guy?
David Arora’s book Mushrooms Demystified is a definitive classic on mushrooms and I own that one too and highly recommend it as well.
Thanks in large part to Arora’s writing, I lost some of my fear of mushrooms and took my first baby steps into foraging a few years ago. I harvested and ate chanterelles, boletes, puffballs and “old man of the woods” mushrooms I found in my old North Florida neighborhood – and they were great! I still stay clear of gilled mushrooms, because I’m a chicken and fear making a mistake, but the others I no longer fear.
All That the Rain Promises and More, despite being a “guide to Western mushrooms,” still contains many species found across North America and beyond. Mushroom spores spread by wind all around the world and they grow where they please.
I love this guy’s writing and humor. He’s both funny and highly knowledgeable… and this book is a great one to leave on your coffee table for visitors to peruse as they wonder at your brilliant and eclectic taste in books.
As one reviewer on Amazon writes:
“This year I suddenly realized how cool mushrooms are! (Or I’m just getting old.) For the past few months, in addition to scouring EVERYWHERE within a 3 mile radius of my West Seattle home, I’ve spent countless hours (days) searching Google for identification help, which I’m sure you know causes more harm than good at times.
I ordered this along with the Audobon Field Guide and they both arrived yesterday. Within minutes of opening this book, I identified 3 of the mushrooms sitting on my kitchen counter that I’d just spent half the day trying to figure out online! Pictures are great because they’re color-accurate and show the angles I need, it’s organized in a way that’s meaningful to me as a beginner, and the descriptions gave me long-overdue insight into concepts I’ve struggled with such as taxonomy, toxicity effects, and how to tell the difference between an edible delight vs. a gut-wrenching nightmare. He even includes ridiculously simple recipes. Most importantly, as a mushroom noob, his non-condescending, light-hearted humor, and intuitive writing style gave me the confidence to feel like I can actually do this.“
A must-have for beginners and experts.
Get a copy here and you’ll help support this site.
I also own and use the Audubon Field Guide to Mushrooms, which has great photos.
You can also check out my list of the best mushroom foraging books here.