Book of the month for June
In celebration of World Environment Day on 5 June, this month’s Book of the Month is Entangled Life: How fungi make our worlds, change our minds and shape our futures by Merlin Sheldrake.
About the book
In this captivating adventure, Merlin Sheldrake explores the spectacular and neglected world of fungi: endlessly surprising organisms that sustain nearly all living systems.
They can solve problems without a brain, stretching traditional definitions of 'intelligence', and can manipulate animal behaviour with devastating precision. In giving us bread, alcohol and life-saving medicines, fungi have shaped human history, and their psychedelic properties, which have influenced societies since antiquity, have recently been shown to alleviate some mental illnesses.
The ability of fungi to digest plastic, explosives, pesticides and crude oil is being harnessed in breakthrough technologies, and the discovery that they connect plants in underground networks, the 'Wood Wide Web', is transforming the way we understand ecosystems. Yet they live their lives largely out of sight, and over ninety percent of their species remain undocumented.
A former Radio 4 Book of the Week, shortlisted for the British Book Awards non-fiction narrative book of the year and longlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize, Entangled Life is a mind-altering journey into this hidden kingdom of life, and shows that fungi are key to understanding the planet on which we live, and the ways we think, feel and behave.
Read the book
"One of those rare books that can truly change the way you see the world around you. Astounding." - Helen MacDonald, author of H is for Hawk.
"A dazzling, vibrant, vision-changing book. Sentence after sentence stopped me short. I ended it wonderstruck at the fungal world - the secrets of which modern science is only now beginning to fathom - and the earth-shaking, hierarchy-breaking implications of Sheldrake's argument. A remarkable work by a remarkable writer" - Robert MacFarlane