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.
©2007 Roland Merullo (P)2011 Tantor
A novel about family, open-minded spirituality, and the American road, Lunch with Buddha accompanies the characters from Breakfast with Buddha as they move further along the path toward lasting peace of mind. Facing one of life's greatest emotional challenges, Otto Ringling takes comfort in a loving family and offbeat lessons from eccentric spiritual teacher Volya Rinpoche. Funny at times, heartbreaking at others, Lunch with Buddha offers a fresh and engaging perspective on the life we live now.
©2012 Roland Merullo (P)2015 Tantor
Roland Merullo's playful, eloquent, and life-affirming novel finds the Pope and the Dalai Lama teaming up for an unsanctioned road trip through the Italian countryside to rediscover the everyday joys of life that can seem, even for the two holiest men in the world, unattainable. What happens when the Pope and the Dalai Lama decide they need an undercover vacation? During a highly publicized official visit at the Vatican, the Pope suggests an adventure so unexpected and appealing that neither man can resist. Before dawn, two of the most beloved and famous people on the planet don disguises, slip into a waiting car, and experience the countryside as regular people. Along for the ride are the Pope's overwhelmed cousin Paolo and his estranged wife, Rosa, an eccentric hairdresser with a lust for life who cannot resist the call to adventure - or the fun. Against a landscape of good humor, exploration and spiritual delight, not to mention the sublime rolling hills of Italy, The Delight of Being Ordinary showcases the charming sensibilities of Roland Merullo (whose best-selling Breakfast with Buddha has sold over 200,000 copies) in a novel that makes us laugh as well as think about the demands of ordinary life, spiritual life, and the identities by which we all define ourselves.
©2017 Roland Merullo (P)2017 Random House Audio
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 17-year-old Marjorie Richards, the fear raised by these abductions is the backdrop to what she lives with in 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.
©2011 Roland Merullo (P)2017 Tantor
A harrowing historical novel of the extraordinary acts of ordinary people in Nazi-occupied Italy. Italy, 1943. Luca Benedetto has joined the partisans in their fight against the German troops ravaging the shores of his town on Lake Como. While risking his life to free his country, Luca is also struggling to protect Sarah, his Jewish lover whos hiding in a mountain cabin. As the violent Nazi occupation intensifies, Luca and Sarah fear for more than their own lives. In the heart of their village, their mothers have also found themselves vulnerable to the encroaching Nazis. But Lucas mother, undeterred, is devising her own revenge on the occupiers. With Mussolini deposed and Allied armies fighting their way up the peninsula, the fate of Italy hangs in the balance, and the people of Lake Como must decide how much theyre prepared to sacrifice for family, friends, and the country they love. The most trying of times will create the most unexpected heroes and incredible acts of courage in this stirring narrative as seen through the eyes of those devastated by war-torn Italy.
©2019 Roland Merullo (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.
Roland Merullo, bestselling author of Once Night Falls, returns with a galvanizing historical novel of Nazi-occupied Naples and the rage and resistance of a people under siege. Italy, 1943. The Nazi occupation has cemented its grip on the devastated city of Naples. Giuseppe DiPietra, a curator in the National Archives, has a subversive plan to aid the Allies. If hes discovered, forced labor or swift execution. Lucia Pastone, secretary for the Italian Fascist government, is risking her own life in secret defiance of orders. And Lucias father, Aldo, is a black marketeer who draws Giuseppe and Lucia into the underworld - for their protection and to help plant the seeds of resistance. Their fates are soon intertwined with those of Aldos devoted lover and a boy of the streets wholl do anything to live another day. And all of Naples is about to join forces to overcome impossible odds and repel the Nazi occupiers. Inspired by a true historic uprising, From These Broken Streets is a richly layered novel of the extraordinary daring of ordinary people whose bonds of love, family, and unfaltering courage could not be broken.
©2020 Roland A. Merullo Jr. (P)2020 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.
The author of Breakfast with Buddha brings his characteristic whimsy to a new novel about New York book editor Otto Ringling and Mongolian monk Volya Rinpoche, who embark on a road trip from Rinpoche's meditation center in North Dakota to the glitter and glitz of the Las Vegas strip. What prompts the trip is Otto's recently altered life, having lost first his wife then his job, and then seeing both his children leave home for lives of their own. With Rinpoche's guidance, he hopes to find a new meaning in his life and a new direction. But what begins as a quietly contemplative journey becomes much more as the two men travel through the heart of the American Midwest, witnessing the decimated lives of so many American natives and giving Otto new perspective on the trials he is experiencing in his own life. Along with these inner awakenings for Otto, there is also a very real hint of menace in the novel, as men show up who may be looking to make sure that the world never knows of the existence of Shelsa, the eight-year-old daughter of Rinpoche and Otto's sister, Cecilia. Shelsa has consistently shown that she has the markings and the instincts of a spiritual leader, leading to speculation that she may be the new Dalai Lama.
©2015 Roland Merullo (P)2015 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books