Send e-mail to Bill!
Messages are welcome!


Bill's Newspaper Article:

Tallahassee Democrat, July 25, 2002:
, PAGE 2

Books on Bill's Reference Shelf:

Got to have it

Should have it

Nice to have it

May contain something you can use

Does not matter if you lose it

Books listed alphabetically by title.

All That the Rain Promises and More . . ., by David Arora, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA. 1991.
The pictures are lovely and colorful. Some are quite humorous. Arora's writing style is, in my opinion, the most interesting among mushroom authors. The content is California-oriented and not of much use to one in Florida, but I like the book anyway, just because it's such fun to look at. David's other book, Mushrooms Demystified, is simply one of the best.

Amanita of North America, by David T. Jenkins, Mad River Press, Eureka, CA. 1986.
I got this book when I attended the 1987 NAMA foray in Mississippi. Jenkins presented the pre-foray workshop on Amanita and showed many of the slides in his book. They are much better than the reproductions in the book. The pictures are in color and are pretty good for use in identifying species of Amanita, even though he did not seem to have any concern for aesthetics when he composed them. The text is a bit stilted, and I wish he had provided more information about some of the species, but if you are interested in the genus Amanita, you must have this book.

The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms, by Gary H. Lincoff, Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 1981.
This is one of my favorite and most often used field guides because it actually has a fair number of Southeastern species in it. The pictures are excellent, even though an Audubon guide would never show a mushroom split in half showing its innards. It is designed for quick, easy use in the field. Just flip to the general area (based on shape and size) and look through the pictures until you see something close to what you have in hand; then go to the text and read about it. If you're in Florida, it's likely you will never find what you have in any of your field guides. I also like the keys in this book. They do not, as a rule, require use of a microscope and chemicals.

The Boletineae of Florida, by Rolf Singer, Strauss & Cramer, Germany. Reprinted 1977.
This is a collection of articles written by Singer on Boletineae and their allies. It is written in the style of an old-fastioned naturalist who is trying to attain scientific respectability by using a lot of arcane words. Since it is several writings stuck together, the index is totally baffling. Taxonomists have changed the names (both genus and species) of many of the critters written up in this tome. The photos are, as one might expect, black and white. Still, this book does contain information on boletes I've found nowhere else...and these are Florida species.

Common Florida Mushrooms, by James Kimbrough, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Gainsville, FL., 2000.
If you are going to hunt mushrooms in Florida, you must have this book. I have found information on Florida fungi in this book that I have not found in any other book and in some cases I can't find information on them by searching the Internet! The production values of this book are generally good. The text for each mushroom is generally adequate, the index is useful, and the pictures are mostly good; mostly good but not all good. Many different photographers took the pictures and some of them are not good. There is the problem with amateur photographers where a light-colored mushroom is on a dark background and the over-exposed mushroom has no identifiable features but the background (usually grass or bark) is in focus and perfectly exposed. The other problem with the pictures is that some of the specimens are so far past their prime as to be unrecognizable. Don't let these minor problems stop you though. Get this book! You can probably examine a copy of it at your local UF/IFAS Extension office.

Composition of Scientific Words, by Roland Wilbur Brown, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 1956.
My significant other (aka Spithra) bought this book for me when I was trying to decode Bryce Kendrick's book, The Fifth Kingdom. It turns out to be much more useful for making up scientific words than for decoding them. I think Kendrick took this tome to heart.

The Encyclopedia of Mushrooms, by Colin Dickinson and John Lucas, Cresent Books, New York. 1983.
This is a large coffee table book with fungi listed alphabetically by genus/species. The content is largely European, but there are some North American species in it...even a few from Florida. I bought this long ago when it was hard to find mushroom books, and I'm glad I did. It has good information on mixing up your own chemicals, such as Melzer's reagent, and using them in identification.

A Field Guide to Mushrooms of North America, by Kent H. McKnight and Vera G. McKnight, Peterson Field Guide Series, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 1987.
Nice reproductions of the mushroom paintings. I, however, am put off by their referring to every species of amanita as a "Death Cap." How would you like to make a meal of pasta with Caesar's Death Cap sauce?

A Field Guide to Mushrooms and Their Relatives, by Booth Courtenay and Harold H. Burdsall, Jr., Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York. 1982.
This is another book that was a gift, so I must appreciate it. The color photographs are not consistent in color, however. They may be more pink, blue, or yellow depending on the page on which they are printed. The text is terse, so do not expect enlightenment from this slim volume. I would have expected more from Burdsall, who is an expert in wood rotters, polypores, and forest ecology.

A Field Guide to Southern Mushrooms, by Nancy Smith Weber and Alexander H. Smith, The University of Michigan Press/Ann Arbor. 1985.
This is a fine book that no southern mushroomer should be without. The 241 photographs by Dan Guravich are as good as they get. There are species such as Tylopilus conicus which I have not found in other guides. A plus for this guide is that the text for each mushroom is presented next to the photo, unlike the pain-in-the-ass way it's done in the Audubon guide. Nancy Weber's delicate nature shines through as she defines Lycoperdon as "wind of the wolf" instead of "wolf fart," as is the literal translation. On the down side, the book presents far too few southern species. It merely scratches the surface. Also, when looking things up in the index it's hard to tell if it is referring to the page number or the plate number.

The Fifth Kingdom, by Bryce Kendrick, Focus Information Group, Newburyport, MA. 2nd edition, Mycologue Publications. 1992.
First off, this is not a field guide. It is used as a text for college-level mycology classes. If you're expecting to learn about fleshy fungi, you're liable to be disappointed. If you want to learn about many esoteric microscopic structures of molds, rusts, mildews, and yeasts, you'll love it. To read this book, you will need David Arora's book, Mushrooms Demystified, to have a Latin glossary available. You will also need a good fat unabridged dictionary and maybe Brown's Composition of Scientific Words. I, personally, enjoy the occasional stretching of the grey cells and Bryce (never use an English word when a HUGE made-up Latin word will do) Kendrick certainly provided it with this tome.

How to Recognize 30 Edible Mushrooms, by Antoine Devignes and Jacques Pepin, Barron's, Woodbury, New York. 1977.
There is not much in this slim volume. It has 30 mushrooms which the author considers edible and illustrates one poisonous mushroom, Amanita phalloides. The pictures are nice and the little side comments are of interest if somewhat irrelevant. The species are mostly European, so it's not much help in the southeastern United States. If you use this book, be careful! The author states that Cortinarii are edible except one: Cortinarius orellanus. I think that modern research has found that all Cortinarii except one, Cortinarius violaceus, contain cortitoxins. I believe one should know the local poisonous mushrooms well before deciding which mushrooms to eat.

Guide to Mushrooms, by Giovanni Pacioni and Gary Lincoff, Simon and Schuster, New York. 1981.
Review to be added.

How to Know the Gilled Mushrooms, by A. Smith, H.V. Smith, and N.S. Weber, Pictured Key Nature Series, Wm. C. Brown Company, Dubuque, Iowa. 1979.
Review to be added.

How to Know the Non-Gilled Mushrooms, by A. Smith, H.V. Smith, and N.S. Weber, Pictured Key Nature Series, Wm. C. Brown Company, Dubuque, Iowa. 2nd edition, 1981.
Review to be added.

The Mushroom Handbook, by Louis C.C. Krieger, Dover Publications, Inc., New York. 1967.

The Mushroom Hunter's Field Guide, by Alexander H. Smith and Nancy Smith Weber, The University of Michigan Press/Ann Arbor. 1980.
Review to be added.

The Mushroom Travelguide, by Phyllis G. Glick, Henry Holt and Company, New York. 1979.

Mushrooms Demystified, by David Arora, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA. 2nd edition, 1986.
Review to be added.

Mushrooms, Molds, and Miracles, by Lucy Kavaler, Signet/New American Library. 1966.

Mushrooms of North America, by Orson K. Miller, Jr., E.P. Dutton, New York. 1981.
Review to be added.

Mushrooms of North America, by Roger Phillips, Little, Brown and Company, Boston. 1991.
Review to be added.

Mushrooms and Other Fungi, by Aurel Dermek, Dorset Press, New York. 1989.

Mushrooms and Other Fungi of the Midcontinental United States, by D.M. Huffman, L.H. Tiffany, and G. Knaphus, Iowa State University Press, Ames, Iowa. 1989.
Review to be added.

Mushrooms: A Quick Reference Guide to Mushrooms of North America, by Alan Bessette and Walter J. Sundberg, Macmillan Field Guides, Collier Books, New York. 1987.
Review to be added.

Poisonous Mushrooms of the Northern United States and Canada, by Joseph F. Ammirati, James A. Traquair, and Paul A. Horgen, University of Minnesota Press/Minneapolis. 1985.
Review to be added.

Scientific Terminology, by John N. Hough, Rinehart and Company, Inc., New York. 1953.
Review to be added.

Texas Mushrooms: A Field Guide, by Susan Metzler and Van Metzler, University of Texas Press/Austin. 1992.
Review to be added.