Lunch with Buddha
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Lunch with Buddha (Breakfast with Buddha series #2)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  321 ratings  ·  72 reviews
On the surface, LUNCH WITH BUDDHA is a story about family. Otto Ringling and his sister Cecelia could not be more different. He’s just turned 50, an editor of food books at a prestigious New York publishing house, a man with a nice home in the suburbs, children he adores, and a sense of himself as being a mainstream, upper-middle-class American. Cecelia is the last thing f...more
Paperback, 392 pages
Published November 13th 2012 by AJAR Contemporaries (first published January 1st 2012)
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am notorious for my cynicism. Show me a book that carries an "upbeat" message, and I'll show you a new way to light my wood stove. It's not just the soupiness or the upbeatitude of the message that bothers me, either. After all, we all need our fantasies. Rather it is the implicit arrogance in the proselytism, the smug certainties, and the lack of any sense of irony or humor endemic to this genre.

I love LUNCH WITH BUDDHA,optimism and all, because it lacks all the flaws of the genre I have just...more
I am still trying to process this book. That is why I only gave it 3 stars. I might need to go back and change the rating later, but something about it just didn't sit right with me. I felt Otto was more worried about food than anything else. There was more time spent on his own musing than instruction from Rinpoche.

In Breakfast with Buddha, I felt I was learning right along with Otto. I was coming to new understandings. I was growing. I felt a sense of wonderment and joy at Rinpoche's words. I...more
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I thoroughly enjoyed this very interesting sequel to Breakfast with Buddha, altho I liked Breakfast from the minute I began reading; was part way into Lunch before it really grabbed my attention. The author's descriptions of the states/countryside/people as these 2 travelers make their way from the west coast to North Dakota made me feel like I was right there with them -- and now I want to visit these same locations! As I read the book I wondered how much of the descriptions were authentic and...more
This book follows on the heels of "Breakfast with Buddha" which I also really enjoyed. Both stories involve road trips in which Otto the main character and his friend (now brother in law) Rinpoche have terrific adventures and great conversations. In this book, Otto's wife has recently died and the family is meeting out west to spread her ashes in a loved spot by a river. Otto is trying to deal with his grief and changing relationship with his almost adult children. It deals with weighty subjects...more
Betty Rots
I loved "Breakfast with Buddha" - but this one is even better - and deeper. I love the way Merullo develops Otto's character and gradually takes him to a different level. Otto Ringling in "Lunch with Buddha" would not have been possible without his experiences in 'Breakfast with Buddha." The way Rinpoche shows him that there is more to life than being a good person in the first book enables Otto to slowly develop a more spiritual life, in spite of the tragedy in his life. I can't wait for "Dinne...more
Mike Radice
Loved this book. Otto and Rinpoche are funny, interesting and complicated characters and I love their journeys together. I hope Roland writes as his next book, "Dinner with Buddha."
Rhonda Pickens
Oct 08, 2012 Rhonda Pickens marked it as to-read
I can't wait until this comes out. I loved Breakfast With Buddha so much I sent copies to my entire family!
Wendy Hines
Otto is grieving over the loss of his wife, and it still feels fresh months later when he and his adult children spread his ashes. But Otto has plans - he and his sister's spiritual guru are about to embark on a journey. In an old pick up truck, they begin to drive to North Dakota, Otto's childhood home. But along the way is filled with an emotional journey filled with healing, love, humor and spiritual growth. Both men have different beliefs - they couldn't be any more opposite, which makes for...more
Leah (Books Speak Volumes)
Following the death of his wife, middle-aged Otto travels to Washington State with his two college-age children to spread Jeanie’s ashes at a site special to the couple. After an emotional gathering with his family, he embarks on a road trip across the American West with his sister’s husband, Volya Rinpoche, a world-renowned spiritual man and teacher of Buddhism.

As on the pair’s previous road trip a few years before, Otto tries to teach Rinpoche about American culture and Rinpoche bestows spirit...more
I won this in a First Reads giveaway - thanks Goodreads!

This book was the next step after “Breakfast with Buddha” – a continuing journey (both physical and spiritual) for Otto, a middle-aged normal kind of guy, and his brother-in-law Rinpoche, a spiritual teacher almost-Buddhist. What I liked most about Breakfast was that the spiritual lessons didn’t seem weird or exotic, but were presented in a way that they seemed natural and normal, after all a large portion of the world’s population is Buddh...more
Linda Bouley
I'm a big fan of Roland Merullo's books - I wish there were more. Lunch with Buddha is a sequel to Breakfast with Buddha where New York editor Otto Ringling's parents are killed in a car accident in his home state of North Dakota and he must travel west to settle the estate. His wife Jeannie convinces him to drive and take his flaky new age sister who hates to fly, insisting it will help them get closer. Instead he ends up traveling with her buddhist monk friend whom she intends to give her shar...more
Roland Merullo’s Lunch With Buddha is lyrical, thought-provoking, exquisite. I knew I was in for a treat from the first page, basking in the rich language, and Merullo’s novel is truly a joy for the senses.

Narrator Otto is the perfect mix of skeptic and believer. Hanging with Rinpoche, a revered holy man with an unending philosophical appreciation for life, is enough to change anyone — but Otto doesn’t have accept it. Still smarting from a recent tragedy, he’s not always in the mood for Rinpoche...more
Aimee Jodoin
Lunch with Buddha accompanies the characters from Breakfast with Buddha, expanding on Otto Ringling’s spiritual journey as a sequel, but it can be read as a stand-alone novel in its own right. The story begins with Otto taking a plane out West with his two now grown up children to release his recently deceased wife’s ashes at a special camping place. Like Breakfast with Buddha, Otto’s sister, Cecelia, has organized a road trip for Otto and Volya Rinpoche, a Buddhist monk to whom Cecelia is marri...more
Tia Bach
Rating: 3.5 stars (closer to 4 than 3)

Otto Ringling is heading west with his son and daughter to spread his wife's ashes. (At first I hesitated to give away this "greatest of life's difficulties" because the summary above didn't specifically mention it, but the wife's death is revealed within the first few pages of the book.) Their grief is still a very open wound, even though it has been months since her death.

In addition to saying goodbye, Otto is planning a journey with his sister's husband a...more
Christine H
This is a story about how love shapes our lives. You don’t have to be a middle-aged father of two, a bereaved spouse, or even a spiritual person to appreciate the magic that Roland Merullo weaves in Lunch with Buddha. His is a novel that transcends the cultural, linguistic, and religious divides that often complicate our lives and leave us pondering its great mysteries. What is the meaning of life? is a recurring theme that Merullo’s protagonist and narrator, Otto Ringling, grapples with as he t...more
I was a goodreads first reads winner of Lunch with Buddha.Roland Merullo wrote A nice read about family and learning to change your ways of thinking. Otto just turned 50. he is an editor of food books. he has two kids 20 and 22. the family is devastated by the loss of jeannie Otto's wife. after going to Seattle with his wife's ashes. he is going to his childhood home in North Dakota. most of the book is spent on the road in a pick up truck with his brother-in-law."Rinpoche" they are very differe...more
Mixed feelings about this book. At times I loved the writing- interesting and engaging, yet overall got the sense it was a bit preachy. Leading the reader to make their own conclusions would be more powerful. That said, it's an enjoyable book- the actual story interesting enough, but fairly predictable. It's a modern Paul Cohello type of spiritual story, but the setting - Washington state, Montana, North Dakota convey a realness about it, this is ordinary life reaching extraordinary realizations...more
Disclaimer: I received a copy of Lunch with Buddha by Roland Merullo from TLC Book Tours for review.

Lunch with Buddha is the third of Roland Merullo’s novels I’ve read (Breakfast with Buddha and American Savior being the first two), and I found it no less delightful than the others. Though it is the sequel to Breakfast with Buddha, by no means must you read one to appreciate the other.

Overall, I found Lunch with Buddha to be an enjoyable, relaxing, enlightening read — gentle, funny, touching, an...more
Roland Merullo continues his series of the spiritual challenges and growth of protagonist Otto Ringling as he travels through the western U.S. Fans of Breakfast With Buddha (count me as one) won't be disappointed with this volume. Merullo keeps the characters fresh, the scenery vivid and pastoral, and the prose engaging. This book deals with the ideas of resilience, the power of kindness and what lessons life should be teaching us as we age. A preachy sentence or two might slip in, but is done s...more
It is a darker book, in many respects, to the first one and not as "easy" to read because of it. I think, like many sequels in trilogies, I will come to understand it, learn from it and like it more once the third book has been read. I may revise my rating later once I have had time to digest it all.
Will Brown
Outstanding. Enjoyable. A must read. Read Breakfast with Buddha first and if it agrees with you follow up with this one right away. These little bits of fiction will hit a familiar note to many. As a tai chi instructor and player the bell rang loud and clear. Enjoy. Relax. Think.
Couldn't put it down .

I found it to be an excellent follow-up to breakfast with Buddha , with a lot of unexpected emotional twist and turns,
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has read breakfast with Buddha.
Jul 01, 2013 Amy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
Another lovely visit with Otto and Rinpoche. To be honest, I wasn't sure how this one would work, since at the end of "Breakfast" Otto was starting to open his mind to meditation et al.... So, how would another road trip go? The "newness" of the lessons wouldn't be there... would this be trite and lecture-y? Enter a death in the family to send Otto reeling and questioning and suffering.

Quite liked this read, but I didn't rattle me quite the way "Breakfast" did. Perhaps because I already knew the...more
Nicole Kirk
I enjoyed this book. Following the road trip of Otto and his brother-in-law (who is a spiritual leader) as Otto works through the grief of losing his wife. An unexpected mix of humor, points of sadness, and points that just make the reader smile. As Otto is reflecting on life and spiritualism it makes you think and question as well. I also enjoyed the author discussion and insights at the end.
Tom Davis
While not quite as humorous as Breakfast, this book lives up to the first and may actually be a little better. I'm looking forward to Dinner.
I had a hard time reading this book, in fact I read two novels in between reading Lunch With Buddha. I wanted to like it. I felt the premise was interesting and other reviews have been generally favorable. However, I felt the narrative dragged at times and I was more than halfway through the book before I really became engaged. Otto and Rinpoche are both likeable characters and I am somewhat familiar with the novels setting. I think I should have read Breakfast With Buddha first. In fact I plan...more
I have been recommending Breakfast with Buddha to everyone under the sun with renewed zeal since I listened to it on audio to refresh my memory before digging into this, its equally compelling sequel. Despite the passing of several years, Merullo re-inhabits the mind and life of Otto Ringling with remarkable consistency and familiarity.

If you have not already accompanied Otto and Rinpoche on their first journey in Breakfast, please do so immediately. Anyone who has ever pondered life's larger q...more
I enjoyed this book, but recommend reading Breakfast with Buddha first. I found Breakfast to be light-hearted, funny and enlightening. By the end, I was invested in the characters enough that I wanted to know how life progressed for this unique family. Lunch opened with a heavier heart (which, of course, is how life often progresses). I was tempted to stop reading a few times, and probably would have had I not had that connection from the 1st book. I'm glad I did continue. The enlightening momen...more
Harry Lane
Received this book as a goodreads giveaway. Otto Ringling has recently lost his wife, and the action in this book involves road trip he takes with his buddhist brother-in-law. Otto is a practical, logical type who senses the existence of realms beyond his ken. Rinpoche, the brother-in-law, is the other side of the coin -- keenly focused on and in tune with the spiritual and an almost total disregard of the mundane. The narrative does not resolve the difference. But the writing is descriptive and...more
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ROLAND MERULLO is the acclaimed author of twelve previous books, including Revere Beach Boulevard, In Revere in Those Days, A Little Love Story, Golfing with God, Breakfast with Buddha, Lunch with Buddha and American Savior. Merullo has won numerous prizes, including the Massachusetts Book Award for both fiction and nonfiction. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two children.
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“My father he always say that the oil is already inside the student, already there from all time. The teacher only has a match and makes it light, and then the student isn’t a student anymore, just a friend, going the same way down the dark road but seeing now by himself.” 0 likes
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