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Entangled Life artwork

Entangled Life: A mind-bending journey into the hidden world of fungi

That Sheldrake clan are a talented bunch. We’ve covered news from ‘maverick biologist’ Rupert Sheldrake here on the Grail for the last couple of decades. Then in 2013 we introduced you to the music of one of Rupert’s sons, Cosmo Sheldrake. (since then Cosmo’s praises have been sung by the likes of Sean Ono Lennon, and his music featured in an Apple ad).

Book cover for Entangled Life, by Merlin Sheldrake

And now, we’re going to point out that another of Rupert’s sons, Merlin Sheldrake, is a Cambridge University-educated biologist who has a book coming out soon that is already earning rave reviews: Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures (available from Amazon US and Amazon UK) .

No less a mycological expert than Paul Stamets describes Entangled Life as “a magical journey deep into the roots of Nature — the mycelial universe that exists under every footstep we take in life…a must read for citizen scientists hoping to make a positive difference on this sacred planet we share.”

Here’s the blurb for the book:

When we think of fungi, we probably think of mushrooms. But mushrooms are only fruiting bodies, analogous to apples on a tree. Most fungi live out of sight, yet make up a massively diverse kingdom of organisms that support and sustain nearly all living systems. The more we learn about fungi, the less makes sense without them. 

Sheldrake’s vivid exploration ranges from yeast to psychedelics, to the fungi that sprawl for miles underground and are the largest organisms on the planet, to those that link plants together in complex networks known as the ‘Wood Wide Web’, to those that infiltrate and manipulate insect bodies with devastating precision.

Fungi throw our concepts of individuality and even intelligence into question. They can change our minds, heal our bodies, and even help us remediate environmental disaster. By examining fungi on their own terms, Sheldrake reveals how these extraordinary organisms – and our relationships with them – are changing our understanding of how life works.

Sounds like a fascinating book, and I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about it as its publication date approaches. If you want to skip all the reviews and think pieces that will likely come out, and go straight to the source, pre-order a copy now from Amazon US and Amazon UK.

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