I read Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and to be honest I had to force myself to finish it. If the guy really wanted to commune with nature he should have got on a mountain bike. Of course, then he would have had a breakdown, and then he would have needed to know how to fix it. He would have needed Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance, but it wasn't available back then. Irony!
The best thing that came out of Pirsig's book is the title for Lennard Zinn's book, which has become a necessary text for those of us who try to dick around with our own rides. The 2010 5th edition is updated from the 2005 4th edition, losing a chapter (cycling computers) and an appendix (pedal and cleat compatibility) in the process, yet somehow growing in length as it treats new developments such as 29 inch wheels and belt drives.
Suitable for beginners to experts, you'll learn all you need to know and possibly more than you want to know about everything from brake adjustment to building a wheel. The illustrations by Todd Telander are clear and helpful. The only frustration is minor, and that's the lack of a section up front explaining what's new in this edition. Aside from new technology, the format is a bit different with the readability improved and the addition of Pro Tips with additional information. Bottom line: if you own a mountain bike, spend the little bit extra to have this book on hand for when you inevitably need it.