Otto Ringling narrates Breakfast with Buddha, the latest offering from Roland Merullo (Golfing with God), with a side order of scrambled skepticism. And why shouldn't he? He's on a cross-country road trip with a cryptic robe-wearing monk. Otto was suckered into taking his sister's guru along for the ride from New Jersey to his parents' North Dakota farm, and Rinpoche isn't making it any easier. The peaceful stranger is short on words but big on riddles, and Otto progresses from frustration with his enigmatic companion to amusement at the man's ability to find joy in small things to a quiet admiration for the spiritual leader everyone seems to revere.

Somewhere between bowling and yoga class, Rinpoche teaches Otto to examine himself, and readers will be rooting for the success of this unlikely pair. Merullo's clear writing ensures that readers will master Rinpoche's sometimes cryptic reflections as well.

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