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Dinner with Buddha

Dinner with Buddha
Author: Roland Merullo
Publisher: Algonquin Books
ISBN: 1616205164
Pages: 320
Year: 2015-06-02
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“We, like Otto, find our cynicism worn away by Rinpoche’s gentle instruction in the simple but terribly difficult art of letting go, living each moment to the fullest, seeing the sacred in the everyday . . . This brave, meditative author has carved a unique niche in American literature.” —Kirkus Reviews starred review If life is a journey--with detours, paths from which to choose, and myriad roadblocks to overcome--then Otto Ringling is most certainly on the journey of a lifetime. The first fifty or so years of his journey were pretty good. He felt that he had it all, until one day he didn’t. Looking for answers, he calls on his brother-in-law, Volya Rinpoche, a wise man and spiritual leader. A man who accepts the world as it comes to him; a man without pride or vanity. Someone who, as it turns out, is experiencing his own time of doubt. So, in hopes of finding answers to life’s mysteries, the two embark on a journey through America, a road trip that becomes a lesson in love and gratitude. “Merullo offers keen insight into and intelligent assessments of modern American life, but it is his compassionate portrait of a grieving Otto in search of inner tranquility that is most affecting.” —Booklist “Otto is such a full human, which is why we can empathize with his questions and immerse ourselves in his experiences. In the end, we are all humanized by the spiritual journey of Dinner with Buddha.” —Spirituality and Practice “Merullo masterfully depicts the struggles of practicing mindfulness moment by moment . . . [The] novel is full of nuanced, thoughtful prose and is an immensely satisfying conclusion to the series.” —Publishers Weekly

Dinner with Buddha

Dinner with Buddha
Author: Roland Merullo
Publisher: Algonquin Books
ISBN: 1616205997
Pages: 368
Year: 2016-04-26
View: 1251
Read: 231

If life is a journey--with detours, paths from which to choose, and myriad roadblocks to overcome--then Otto Ringling is most certainly on the journey of a lifetime. His first fifty or so years were pretty good. He felt he had it all, until one day he didn't. Seeking understanding, he calls on Volya Rinpoche, a wise man and spiritual leader. A man who accepts the world as it comes to him, a man without pride or vanity. But Rinpoche, as it turns out, is experiencing his own time of doubt. In hopes of finding answers to life's mysteries, the two embark on a journey through America, an amusing and enlightening road trip that becomes a lesson in love and gratitude.

Breakfast with Buddha

Breakfast with Buddha
Author: Roland Merullo
Publisher: Algonquin Books
ISBN: 1565126599
Pages: 336
Year: 2008-08-26
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When his sister tricks him into taking her guru on a trip to their childhood home, Otto Ringling, 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's missing in the most unexpected place.

Lunch with Buddha

Lunch with Buddha
Author: Roland Merullo
Publisher: Ajar Contemporaries
ISBN: 0984834575
Pages: 347
Year: 2012-11
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When Otto Ringling faces emotional challenges, his sister arranges for a spiritual teacher, who happens to be her husband, to take a road trip with him in hopes he can find peace of mind.

Vatican Waltz

Vatican Waltz
Author: Roland Merullo
Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 0307452972
Pages: 304
Year: 2013-12-03
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The new novel from the award-winning author of Breakfast with Buddha and Revere Beach Boulevard tells the story of a young Catholic woman jolted from a quietly devout life in pursuit of a mysterious calling. Cynthia Piantedosi lives a quiet, unassuming life outside of Boston, guided by her Catholic faith. When she loses her beloved grandmother, she begins experiencing “spells” of such intense spiritual intimacy that she wonders about her sanity. Devoted to her elderly father and not particularly interested in dating and socializing, she develops a deep friendship with her parish priest. His congregation sees him as provocative and radical, but he encourages Cynthia to explore her faith—however it presents itself. When he is killed in a mysterious accident, a message begins to emerge from Cynthia’s prayers: God is calling her to be the first female Catholic priest. Her revelation is met with ridicule by certain of the more reactionary officials she reaches out to within the Church. Unable to tune out the divine messages, she lets the power of unswerving faith drive her all the way to the Vatican in pursuit of a destiny she doesn’t fully understand—and a turn of events that will inevitably bring long overdue change to the Catholic Church. From the Hardcover edition.

The Delight of Being Ordinary

The Delight of Being Ordinary
Author: Roland Merullo
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0385540922
Pages: 384
Year: 2017-04-11
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What happens when the Pope and the Dalai Lama decide they need a secret vacation? Roland Merullo’s playful, eloquent, and life-affirming novel finds the world’s two holiest men teaming up for an unsanctioned road trip through the Italian countryside--where they rediscover the everyday joys and challenges of ordinary life. During the Dalai Lama’s highly publicized official visit to the Vatican, the Pope suggests an adventure so unexpected and appealing that neither man can resist: they will shed their robes for several days and live as ordinary men. Before dawn, the two beloved religious leaders make a daring escape from Vatican City, slip into a waiting car, and are soon traveling the Italian roads in disguise. Along for the ride is the Pope’s neurotic cousin and personal assistant, Paolo, who--to his terror-- has been put in charge of arranging the details of their disappearance. Rounding out the group is Paolo’s estranged wife, Rosa, an eccentric entrepreneur with a lust for life, who orchestrates the sublime disguises of each man. Rosa is a woman who cannot resist the call to adventure--or the fun. Against a landscape of good humor, intrigue, and spiritual fulfillment, The Delight of Being Ordinary showcases the uniquely charming sensibilities of author Roland Merullo. Part whimsical expedition, part love story, part spiritual search, this uplifting novel brings warmth and laughter to the universal concerns of family life, religious inspiration, and personal identity—all of which combine to transcend cultural and political barriers in the name of a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

American Savior

American Savior
Author: Roland Merullo
Publisher: Algonquin Books
ISBN: 1565126637
Pages: 312
Year: 2008-08-26
View: 667
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What if Jesus suddenly appeared and announced that he planned to run for President of the United States? Yes, that Jesus. And what if a well-meaning but utterly inexperienced band of disciples not only helped him mount a seat-of-the-pants campaign but also ran it well, getting millions of people to support him and in the process throwing the other two major party candidates—as well as the world's news media—into a frenzy as they scramble to discredit him? Roland Merullo's bitingly clever satirical novel about the state of American politics follows one man's campaign to bring back goodness and kindness (real goodness and kindness this time) in a country that has fallen into a divisive state of fear and hatred. Merullo takes us into the heart of "a nation in grave spiritual danger" as the Son of man sets out to make everyone realize that "politics as usual" is no longer an acceptable alternative. American Savior is a remarkably innovative novel that challenges our perceptions and beliefs while it wags a finger at the folly of our self-righteousness. It is sure to cause controversy among those for whom politics itself has become a kind of religion.

Stealing Buddha's Dinner

Stealing Buddha's Dinner
Author: Bich Minh Nguyen
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1440635331
Pages: 272
Year: 2008-01-29
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As a Vietnamese girl coming of age in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Nguyen is filled with a rapacious hunger for American identity, and in the pre-PC-era Midwest (where the Jennifers and Tiffanys reign supreme), the desire to belong transmutes into a passion for American food. More exotic- seeming than her Buddhist grandmother's traditional specialties, the campy, preservative-filled "delicacies" of mainstream America capture her imagination. In Stealing Buddha's Dinner, the glossy branded allure of Pringles, Kit Kats, and Toll House Cookies becomes an ingenious metaphor for Nguyen's struggle to become a "real" American, a distinction that brings with it the dream of the perfect school lunch, burgers and Jell- O for dinner, and a visit from the Kool-Aid man. Vivid and viscerally powerful, this remarkable memoir about growing up in the 1980s introduces an original new literary voice and an entirely new spin on the classic assimilation story.

In Revere, In Those Days

In Revere, In Those Days
Author: Roland Merullo
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307426343
Pages: 320
Year: 2007-12-18
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In this richly evocative novel--the moving story of one boy's coming of age--acclaimed author Roland Merullo will make you nostalgic for a small Massachusetts city called Revere even if you've never been there. Providing a window into an unspoiled America of forty years ago, In Revere welcomes you to the fiercely loyal and devoted Italian-American family of the Benedettos. Although he was orphaned as a child, young Anthony Benedetto was always surrounded by family, and the vibrant warmth of the Revere community. His Uncle Peter, a former Golden Gloves boxer whose days of glory were behind him, believed Tonio was bound for great things. So did his daughter Rosie, Tonio's favorite cousin, who would take many wrong turns--away from Tonio--through adolescence. His gentle grandparents, who took him in, encouraged him to claim a future outside of Revere, but the warm, unconditional love of his family, and the smells and sounds of Revere stay with him forever. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Golfing with God

Golfing with God
Author: Roland Merullo
Publisher: Algonquin Books
ISBN: 1565125916
Pages: 286
Year: 2007-05-11
View: 262
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This witty tale is an “engaging story of golf, the after-life and ‘the spiritual education of one soul’” (Publishers Weekly). Herman “Hank” Fins-Winston was a professional golfer destined for greatness. Now he lives in a condominium on the thirteenth fairway of one of heaven’s glorious courses—a fact he finds surprising, since for one reason or another, a fair percentage of golfers never make it to paradise . . . and Hank wasn’t exactly an angel on earth. Hank is having the time of his afterlife, until he’s summoned one idyllic morning to play a round with the Almighty. It seems that God is having some trouble with putting. As they play the heavenly courses, both in paradise and back on earth, Hank comes to realize that what began as a golf lesson has become a true spiritual journey . . . “Merullo, author of the critically acclaimed Revere Beach trilogy, writes with wit and subtlety rather than trying to pound inspiration into our heads with a titanium driver. And, best of all, he gets the golf right: precise, well-constructed descriptions of courses and shot making, revealing a respect for the game itself, not just its potential as metaphor.” —Booklist

A Little Love Story

A Little Love Story
Author: Roland Merullo
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307537811
Pages: 288
Year: 2009-07-01
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Jake Entwhistle is smart and handsome, but living with a shadow over his romantic history. Janet Rossi is a bright, witty aide to the governor of Massachusetts, but Janet suffers from an illness that makes her, as she puts it, “not exactly a good long-term investment.” After meeting by accident late one night, they begin a love affair filled with humor, startling intimacy, and a deep, abiding connection. From the Trade Paperback edition.

An End to Suffering

An End to Suffering
Author: Pankaj Mishra
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 1429933631
Pages: 432
Year: 2010-08-24
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An End to Suffering is a deeply original and provocative book about the Buddha's life and his influence throughout history, told in the form of the author's search to understand the Buddha's relevance in a world where class oppression and religious violence are rife, and where poverty and terrorism cast a long, constant shadow. Mishra describes his restless journeys into India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, among Islamists and the emerging Hindu middle class, looking for this most enigmatic of religious figures, exploring the myths and places of the Buddha's life, and discussing Western explorers' "discovery" of Buddhism in the nineteenth century. He also considers the impact of Buddhist ideas on such modern politicians as Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. As he reflects on his travels and on his own past, Mishra shows how the Buddha wrestled with problems of personal identity, alienation, and suffering in his own, no less bewildering, times. In the process Mishra discovers the living meaning of the Buddha's teaching, in the world and for himself. The result is the most three-dimensional, convincing book on the Buddha that we have.

The Talk-Funny Girl

The Talk-Funny Girl
Author: Roland Merullo
Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 0307452948
Pages: 320
Year: 2011-07-05
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In one of the poorest parts of rural New Hampshire, teenage girls have been disappearing, snatched from back country roads, never to be seen alive again. For seventeen-year-old Marjorie Richards, the fear raised by these abductions is the backdrop to what she lives with her own home, every day. Marjorie has been raised by parents so intentionally isolated from normal society that they have developed their own dialect, a kind of mountain hybrid of English that displays both their ignorance of and disdain for the wider world. Marjorie is tormented by her classmates, who call her “The Talk-funny girl,” but as the nearby factory town sinks deeper into economic ruin and as her parents fall more completely under the influence of a sadistic cult leader, her options for escape dwindle. But then, thanks to a loving aunt, Marjorie is hired by a man, himself a victim of abuse, who is building what he calls “a cathedral,” right in the center of town. Day by day, Marjorie’s skills as a stoneworker increase, and so too does her intolerance for the bitter rules of her family life. Gradually, through exposure to the world beyond her parents’ wood cabin thanks to the kindness of her aunt and her boss, and an almost superhuman determination, she discovers what is loveable within herself. This newfound confidence and self-esteem ultimately allows her to break free from the bleak life she has known, to find love, to start a family, and to try to heal her old, deep wounds without passing that pain on to her husband and children. By turns darkly menacing and bright with love and resilience, The Talk-Funny Girl is the story of one young woman’s remarkable courage, a kind of road map for the healing of early abuse, and a testament to the power of kindness and love.

Revere Beach Boulevard

Revere Beach Boulevard
Author: Roland Merullo
Publisher: Holt Paperbacks
ISBN: 0805060065
Pages: 336
Year: 1999-09-15
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Revere Beach Boulevard, a novel both literary and suspenseful, tells the story of a family that rallies around an errant son, even as a dark secret that has blighted all their lives comes to the surface. For Peter, the son who battles a gambling addiction for most of his adult life, it means having the courage to stand up to Eddie Crevine, a Mafia thug to whom he is in debt. For Peter's famous sister, Joanna, it means admitting that she shares some of her brother's anger at their parents and that she is no longer wholly responsible for saving him from the consequences of his gambling. For Vito, the father who hasn't ever had an easy time with his son, and Vito's wife, Lucy, it involves dealing with the aftereffects of a youthful indiscretion, a moment of unchecked passion that changes all of their lives in ways that can never be undone.

Buddha's Diet

Buddha's Diet
Author: Tara Cottrell, Dan Zigmond
Publisher: Running Press
ISBN: 0762460466
Pages: 240
Year: 2016-09-06
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Read: 586

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