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Entangled Life

Entangled Life

How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures

eBook - 2020
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"Living at the border between life and non-life, fungi use diverse cocktails of potent enzymes and acids to disassemble some of the most stubborn substances on the planet, turning rock into soil and wood into compost, allowing plants to grow. Fungi not only help create soil, they send out networks of tubes that enmesh roots and link plants together in the "Wood Wide Web." Fungi also drive many long-standing human fascinations: from yeasts that cause bread to rise and orchestrate the fermentation of sugar into alcohol; to psychedelic fungi; to the mold that produces penicillin and revolutionized modern medicine. And we can partner with fungi to heal the damage we've done to the planet. Fungi are already being used to make sustainable building materials and wearable leather, but they can do so much more. Fungi can digest many stubborn and toxic pollutants from crude oil to human-made polyurethane plastics and the explosive TNT. They can grow food from renewable sources: edible mushrooms can be grown on anything from plant waste to cigarette butts. And some fungi's antiviral compounds might be able to ease the colony collapse of bees. Merlin Sheldrake's revelatory introduction to this world will show us how fungi, and our relationships with them, are more astonishing than we could have imagined. Bringing to light science's latest discoveries and ingeniously parsing the varieties and behaviors of the fungi themselves, he points us toward the fundamental questions about the nature of intelligence and identity this massively diverse, little understood kingdom provokes"--
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2020]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780525510338
0525510338
Branch Call Number: EBOOK OVERDRIVE
Characteristics: 1 online resource
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From Library Staff

Nonfiction. Sheldrake makes biology both fun and accessible. Fans of Mary Roach and Bill Bryson will appreciate this enthusiastic treatment of the fungi around us. (Library Journal)


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GRPL_Elvis
Mar 17, 2021

I've been foraging and learning about mycology as a hobby for while now but the nitty gritty details of fungi have eluded me for a long time. Mushrooms are weird! This book helped me dive deeper into what makes fungi so unique and the way they interact with our world.

With each page I fell deeper in love with fungi, and I think you will too. If you have even a passing interest in mushrooms I can't recommend this highly enough. Merlin does a great job balancing storytelling, entertaining writing, fascinating musings, and hard science to create an engaging and informative experience from start to finish.

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NellieJBanks
Feb 05, 2021

This is a beautiful and absorbing book by a scientist who is also an excellent communicator. Brilliant, mind-blowing, and a pleasure to read. There is so much here to 'wow' us and expand our understanding and awareness. He treats us to perspectives on the fascinating world all around us and under our feet, populated by inconceivable numbers of organisms that live their lives in ways we can barely imagine. I can't see how exploration of other planets could blow our minds more than the discoveries to be made right here on Earth. I love his phrase 'to think outside the skull' -- i.e. to get beyond our limited human perspective and open our minds to what's really going on in this world, in all its astounding age and complexity.

LoganLib_Phoebe Jan 04, 2021

This is an incredible book about something that's often overlooked in our daily life - fungi. They can help or harm us and they are intensely fascinating. The wonderfully named Merlin Sheldrake is our guide to the world of fungi. One of the scientists he mentioned sounds a bit like Radagast the Brown from the Hobbit - I think you have to be a special kind of person to work with fungi! And maybe we need more people to work with them...

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bpetersen18
Nov 30, 2020

The first 8 pages wowed me.. and then the rest was okay. There was something super interesting maybe every 40 pages. I found the author to be a bit "braggy" bringing up people he knows. Also, considering he is a biologist with a PhD he didn't provide much information that he seems to know himself but rather a lot of quoting other peoples work. It read kind of like a thesis more than a book. The book was fairly easy to read and overall was interesting. But I thought I was going to quit halfway through because the middle of the book was pretty bland.

p
patcarstensen
Sep 27, 2020

Trying to understand what a mushroom is throws up all kinds of questions about identity and individualism. The book also made me fretful about what the fires in the West are doing to complex ecological networks.

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PetsAre4Life
Aug 18, 2020

A terrific and interesting look at how we humans need these creatures to survive. A rather interesting story of how essential many unseen things are in our world. A little warning to preserve these and all our fellow species to maintain the Earth.
a very interesting look at what we don't see.

JCLFlanneryC Jul 13, 2020

An accessible and beautifully written science book with relevant insights about how we think of biology, collaboration, and intelligence. Reading about the intuition demonstrated by mushroom colonies and their incredible adaptability really does point us to how we can evolve past our basest "survival instincts" and work together to thrive.

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