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Entangled Life - Merlin Sheldrake

Entangled Life

By Merlin Sheldrake

  • Release Date: 2020-05-12
  • Genre: Life Sciences
Score: 4.5
From 98 Ratings


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A “brilliant [and] entrancing” (The Guardian) journey into the hidden lives of fungi—the great connectors of the living world—and their astonishing and intimate roles in human life, with the power to heal our bodies, expand our minds, and help us address our most urgent environmental problems.

“Grand and dizzying in how thoroughly it recalibrates our understanding of the natural world.”—Ed Yong, author of An Immense World

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR—Time, BBC Science Focus, The Daily Mail, Geographical, The Times, The Telegraph, New Statesman, London Evening Standard, Science Friday

When we think of fungi, we likely 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 supports and sustains nearly all living systems. Fungi provide a key to understanding the planet on which we live, and the ways we think, feel, and behave.

In the first edition of this mind-bending book, Sheldrake introduced us to this mysterious but massively diverse kingdom of life. This exquisitely designed volume, abridged from the original, features more than one hundred full-color images that bring the spectacular variety, strangeness, and beauty of fungi to life as never before.

Fungi throw our concepts of individuality and even intelligence into question. They are metabolic masters, earth makers, and key players in most of life’s processes. 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.

Winner of the Wainwright Prize, the Royal Society Science Book Prize, and the Guild of Food Writers Award • Shortlisted for the British Book Award • Longlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize


  • Wonderfully written

    By armadillo1978
    I wasn’t that interested in fungi before I read this, but Merlin Sheldrake writes in such a compelling way that I fell into the book, and into the subject.
  • Symbiotic Dependance

    By Richard Bakare
    Merlin Sheldrake could not have a more fitting name as the author of a book about the magical qualities of Fungi. He gies beyond mere symbiotic relationships, and delves into the unseen dependencies we have to our fungi friends. Most of us know the gastronomic delicacies of fungi, but we have no idea how dependent our very existence is to these miraculous creatures. Simultaneously, we are just beginning to understand the disease causing challenges of fungus. In plain spoken manner, Sheldrake categorically proves how the metabolic qualities of fungi can sustain and save us. Where we struggle they thrive. But where we cause unnatural ecological change we accelerate their destructive capabilities while missing out on their benefits. Sheldrake extrapolates an engaging and educational story from what could have simply been a Wikipedia entry. His anecdotes, myth busting, and historical tie-ins are the techniques that make science fun and enthralling. The main take away is a wish that the collective we start redirecting spending away from destroying ourselves and towards tapping into the unknown potential of the 90% plus of fungi we have yet to document. Additionally, you start to question how “intelligence” is defined. Sheldrake demonstrates that the designation of “brainless organisms” is misapplied to fungi and maybe underutilized when it comes to humans. We have a lot to learn from the hidden workers behind the machinery of life.
  • Great Read

    By JCB1106!!
    Fantastically informative on a great subject. A 10!
  • Expanding by entangling

    By John Peyton 42
    Dr. Sheldrake introduces some truly mind-blowing ideas here. Moreover, he challenges us to think critically about the stories we use to interpret those ideas. In the process he expands our own understanding of the world, our minds, and the stories we use to relate them
  • Highly recommend!

    By Totoghfjchf
    Entangled Life is a perfect blend of informational and philosophical. It invites you to reframe the way you view the relationship between living things, and challenges commonly held notions about the relationships between organisms and their broader implications on the world. If you are looking for a book that will make you think, look no further.
  • Dry but Fun to Skim

    By Persypie
    “For as long as fungi have existed, they have been bringing about a “change from the roots.” Humans are latecomers to the story.” Kind of dry, but had some entertaining parts. The chapter about truffles was the most interesting to me.