from a mushroom hunter
Well, I wish I was a mycologist - I have read most every book I can find on identifying, growing, hunting and using mushrooms... but there are no schools that I can find, within at least a few thousand miles of where I live that teach mycology. I may go back to school to study botany, but if I concentrate on mycology within that degree program, I'd still be mostly on my own. I've been hunting for, and eating, wild mushrooms since I was in my teens. My home in the mountains of NC is a temperate rainforest. SO, most everything grows there, except morels (have to go about 1,000 ft lower in elevation to find them). A lot of my favorites are lesser known varieties... but chickens and oysters are an almost daily inclusion in meals. So, to kick this one off, here are my favorite books on mushrooms:
Radical Mycology..... this is a newer book and the author was one of my Permaculture teachers. It is huge, comprehensive, kind of "far out", but also very much on the cutting edge of what we know about mycology.
Paul Stamets books are very good if you want to grow mushrooms in laboratory conditions. The exception is Mycology Running - that is just really excellent, all around - growing indoors and outdoors, medicinal mushrooms and soil remediation... his little book on medicinal mushrooms is a good starting place, BTW (Fungal Pharmacy is better).
Mushrooms Demystified really should be the first book anyone uses if they are going to learn to hunt mushrooms without a mentor (I did, btw, but I was cautious). While that, and All THe Rain Promises are west coast US books, they are very good, because of the "keys" - like plant botany,, you learn to identify mushrooms by common features like cap shape, gills, etc. THe keys are the most important aspect of any mushroom identification book.
100 Edible Mushrooms is good because it seeks to do no more than its title suggests - good photos, and well written
Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms is really excellent - it was my only reference for a very long time. People complaint hat the author made up some of the names for mushrooms... but that is really only an issue if you are comparing it to another guide.
Mushrooms of the Southeast and The COmplete Mushroom Hunter both look very good - on my list, but I haven't bought them yet
Now, the new up and coming guy who may go even further in positive influence than Stamets (maybe, we'll see) is Tradd Cotter. His book, Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation is awesome. He is one of those guys who makes the complex simple. His company, Mushroom Mountain, in SC, has the best quality, widest variety and cheapest mushroom spawn I've seen (if you know of better and cheaper, please let me know). He offers classes there and in the Clemson, SC are and has a very cool trail, through acres of woods, where people can learn about hundreds of different mushrooms, growing in a natural environment.
I have other mushroom books, but these are my favorites, or those I'm most looking forward to reading.