October 2015 Book of the Month

I always told myself I would never use a Kindle. There is just something about going into the used bookstore by my house and peeling back the pages of an old book that I refuse to sacrifice. However, I now find myself in a different time and space. Wiggling 10 day old baby in my arms, propped up on pillows, hands full — so I’m tapping through the pages of Breakfast With Buddha on my mother-in-law’s Kindle. She and I first talked about this book two summers ago. I figure there must be a reason I’ve saved it for now.

Breakfast With Buddha (despite reminding me of the outside world) has allowed me to find pockets of time to go inward in this crazy feeling time. It’s reminded me of my favorite subjects, sociology and spirituality, and how the two may or may not link together.

“Otto Ringling is a straight-laced publishing executive with two kids, a lovely wife, a fine home in a fancy New York suburb, and a nagging suspicion that something’s missing. How, then, does he end up on traveling through Middle America with a berobed Mongolian monk? The real question to ask is, Why?

When his sister tricks him into taking her guru on a trip to their childhood home, Otto, a confirmed skeptic, is not amused. Six days on the road with an enigmatic holy man who answers every question with a riddle is not what he’d planned. But in an effort to westernize his passenger-and amuse himself-he decides to show the monk some “American fun” along the way. From a chocolate factory in Hershey to a bowling alley in South Bend, from a Cubs’ game at Wrigley Field to his family farm near Bismarck, Otto is given the remarkable opportunity to see his world-and more important, his life-through someone else’s eyes. Gradually, skepticism yields to amazement as he realizes that his companion might just be the real thing.

In Roland Merullo’s masterful hands, Otto tells his story with all the wonder, bemusement, and wry humor of a man who unwittingly finds what he he’s missing in the most unexpected place.” (text source)

Only halfway through the book, I’m getting more and more intrigued with each tap of the digital page. Join me.

Chelsea Richer
Director of the Tuning the Student Mind film