The decision of which book(s) you should purchase will be based on your interests and how deep you'd like to dive into this hobby. A general book can only cover so many species, book covering more narrow topics are usually more inclusive.
*We do not sell any of these books, but images provided will link to Amazon, where they are usually available. Its also worth checking to see if there is a second hand copy available at www.abebooks.com or www.thriftbooks.com where they are often much cheaper, if they are available.
Generalized North America
These books cover general interest across the US or North America (or a large enough portion to warrant placement here)
By David Aurora. This tome has been called the gospel of mushroom identification. While many entries are dated in classification, no other book has nearly the range of information that this book does. We highly recommend this book for those seeking to both learn about mushrooms/fungi and ID them. However, it does not contain any color photos and be sure to cross reference specie's names, as many have been updated since the release of the most up to date edition of this guide from 1986.
Another great, but very dated guide. The keys used to determine identification in this books is pretty good, but not excellent. Many names have been changed or determined to be a separate species since this was published in 1981. There is an updated Audubon guide in the works to be published soon.
By Michael Beug, Alan Bessette and Arleen Bessette. Since Ascomycetes account for >75% of all 'mushrooms' this book is included here rather than under the special interests.
These books focus on the eco-regions that are present in Alabama
These books will cover specific types or aspects of mushrooms.
By Alan Bessette, William Roody, Walter Sturgeon, and Arleen Bessette. A focus on members of the Hygrophoraceae family, commonly known as waxcaps which are often visually stunning, just like the images in this book.
By Robert Hallock. An excellent book covering the etymology, pronunciation, and meanings of over 1,500 words that are related to mushrooms and fungi.
By Britt Bunyard and Jay Justice. Discover the Amanitas of North America! Amanitas arguably are the most recognized and fascinating of all mushrooms. Amanita species mostly are big and showy, and ubiquitous over most of the planet wherever terrestrial plants grow. These mushrooms have been the subject of lore, make the news headlines with regularity, and Amanitas have even changed the course of world history.
By David Largent, David Johnson and Roy Watling. With so few English titles that focus on fungal microscopy, this book stands apart as a necessary reference on microscopic features of mushrooms, techniques and materials.