You know how you can get the right reader the right book at the right time? You then have the perfect book for that person. This is what happened here. I would like to say that your mileage may vary, but I loved it. It had everything to lure me in. Zen Buddhism? Check. Japan? Check. Magical realism? Check. A variety of nerdy tidbits from history and botany and philosophy? Check (I do like footnotes, even in fiction). It's as if Ozeki wrote this book just for me (I know she didn't, but humor me).