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Good Reads  Mycology

The Hidden Kingdom of Fungi Exploring the Microscopic World in Our Forests, Homes, and Bodies

Popular Science Coming Soon
By: Keith A Seifert(Author), Rob Dunn(Foreword By)
280 pages, b/w illustrations
Publisher: Greystone Books
The Hidden Kingdom of Fungi
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  • The Hidden Kingdom of Fungi ISBN: 9781771646628 Hardback Jun 2022 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks
  • The Hidden Kingdom of Fungi ISBN: 9781778402111 Paperback 19 Sep 2024 Available for pre-order
Selected version: £11.99
About this book Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

For readers of Entangled Life and The Hidden Life of Trees comes an illuminating account of the "invisible" fungi that share our world: from the air we breathe to the dust beneath our feet.

The Hidden Kingdom of Fungi traces the intricate connections between fungi and all life on Earth to show how these remarkable microbes enrich our lives: from releasing the carbon in plants for the benefit of all organisms to transmitting information between trees, to producing life-changing medicine, to adding umami flavour and B vitamins to our food.

Divided into sections, each one exploring an environment where fungi live, this enthralling, science-backed book ventures into our homes, bodies, farms, and forests to profile the fungi that inhabit these environments, most of them invisible to the naked eye. Along the way, the author, the esteemed career mycologist Keith Seifert, explains the latest research into where these fungi came from; how yeast, lichens, slimes, and moulds evolved and adapted over millions of years. And he shows us that, surprisingly, fungi share almost a quarter of human genes. We may have more in common with yeast and slime than we think …

But not all fungi are good for us. In fact, fungal diseases lead to over 1 million deaths each year and more than a quarter of our food goes to waste. How can we strike a better balance with our microbial cousins, both for their sake and ours? The Hidden Kingdom of Fungi urges us to better understand our relationship with fungi – and to plan our future with them in mind – while revealing their world in all its beautiful complexity.

Customer Reviews


Keith Seifert spent more than 40 years studying fungi on five continents. At Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, he did research on microscopic fungi from farms, forests, food, and the built environment, to reduce toxins and diseases affecting plants and animals. He was president of the International Mycological Association, an executive editor of Mycologia, and associate editor of several other scientific journals. He lives near Ottawa, Canada.

Dr Rob Dunn is Professor of Applied Ecology at North Carolina State University and the author of seven books, including Delicious, Never Home Alone, and A Natural History of the Future. He’s written for Scientific American, Smithsonian Magazine, and National Geographic and regularly advocates for citizen science. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Popular Science Coming Soon
By: Keith A Seifert(Author), Rob Dunn(Foreword By)
280 pages, b/w illustrations
Publisher: Greystone Books
Media reviews

"Fans of Merlin Sheldrake's Entangled Life and Suzanne Simard's Finding the Mother Tree will enjoy Seifert's latest [...] A perspective-shifting guide to our microfungal matrix."

"Seifert, in this fascinating, engaging, and approachable work, provides an improved understanding of how fungi surround and affect our lives."

"An excellent primer for the ecological and forest-interested layperson."
The Globe and Mail

"Explore the complex and ingenious ecosystems where fungi are found and discover how these marvels of nature enrich (and sometimes threaten) our lives."
– Peter Wohlleben, New York Times-bestselling author of The Hidden Life of Trees

"If you are interested in mushrooms, like so many people are these days, but want to delve deeper than the headlines, this is the book for you."
– Eugenia Bone, author of Mycophilia and former president of the New York Mycological Society

"Delightful [...] A wide-eyed grand tour of [an] alien world [that] makes me love these multi-gendered, cell-wall-having, network-forming bugs all the more."
– Adam Rogers, senior correspondent at Wired and author of Full Spectrum: How the Science of Color Made Us Modern and Proof: The Science of Booze

"Flat-out fabulous. [The Hidden Kingdom of Fungi is] an enlightening introduction to fungi, yes, but it's also a real page-turner. Dr. Seifert is a spectacularly skilled writer. He truly puts the fun in fungi."
– Andy MacKinnon, author of Alpine Plants of the Northwest

"An excellent, intimate introduction to fungi and mycology that will appeal to general science readers and those interested in learning about our biologically interdependent world."
Library Journal

"An authoritative and gripping expose of fungi [...] with an exciting vision of how they might contribute to a more sustainable Earth. This book will increase your respect for fungi and could challenge your view of the world-inside and on you, your home, and outdoors."
– David L. Hawksworth, Hon. President, International Mycological Association

"Fungi, the author tells us, are the meek that long ago inherited the Earth [...] For the innately curious, The Hidden Kingdom of Fungi will be an eye-opening introduction to a secretive world that most of us know too little about."
– Richard Schiffman, Washington Post

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