Susan S. (Lafayette, CA)
Bhutan in transition
If you are looking for another Eat, Pray, Love, this book is not it. For me, that was a major plus. While it seems to be billed as another “travel to find myself” book, I found that where it was its most interesting was the look it gave us at modern Bhutanese life (and it dragged a little when the author focused on her own relationships with other westerners because I didn’t care about that). But I learned a lot about Bhutan, and the author seems to have begun her contacts with Bhutan and the Bhutanese people right at the point where Bhutan is in a transition period between keeping itself almost completely isolated from the modern world, and allowing the modern world in. And it seems pretty clear that the modern world is going to rapidly run roughshod over their old way of life. I found that aspect to be fascinating, and it left me with a lot of food for thought – it seems pretty poignant that their old ways will disappear, but why shouldn’t they have all of the benefits of modern technology and communication that we have? But does that make people happier? But even if it doesn’t, would it have been acceptable for their government to continue to keep them isolated? I finished it several days ago, and I still find myself thinking about it.
Prella M. (Lafayette, IN)
Lisa Napoli, on her own quest to find contentment and satisfaction with her life, travels to Bhutan to aid the national radio station. Her observations and insights on this delightful small Himalayan kingdom make interesting reading. For me, it was a trip down memory lane to remember a wonderful vacation I had there some years ago. I recommend this for all arm chair travelers who wish to know more about other parts of the world or prospective visitors.
Ann O. (Kansas City, MO)
The Happiest Place on Earth
After reading “Radio Shangri-La” by Lisa Napoli, one thing I can say is “I wish I could visit Bhutan!” But sadly I’m afraid that as Bhutan opens up to the world, it will cease to be the same unspoiled country that Napoli discovered.
As I read about Napoli’s adventures, I felt as though I were traveling with her, getting acquainted with her Bhutanese friends -- Ngawang, Pema, Pink and the others – and sharing their lives. Although I haven’t lived in another country, I traveled throughout the world for many years in my job for a non-profit organization. Reading this book brought back lovely memories of my experiences and the people who changed me by giving me a different perspective on my life and values.
However, partly because Napoli kept us at arms length, only teasing us about her problems and experience instead of bringing us into the heart and soul of her changed self and partly because I was more interested in Bhutan and its people, I didn’t enjoy Napoli’s personal musings as much as I did her descriptions of this beautiful country, these delightfully open-hearted people and their lives. All in all, though, it was an enthralling book.
Kimberly D. (Mount Airy, MD)
More Of A Travel Memoir
I enjoy reading books that teach some kind of spiritual lesson, so I was eager to read this book to find out what the author learned by working at a radio station in a Buddhist nation. While I believe the epiphanies she arrived at were profound and relevant to my life, they didn't take up much of the book. Radio Shangri-la reads more like a travel memoir offering sights, sounds and a rich atmosphere of a place the reader will never experience in real life. I enjoyed it more for this reason.
Jacquelyn H. (Blanco, Texas)
Radio Shangri-La by Lisa Napoli
Being a life long traveler, I began this book with great expectations looking forward to a tale of an American working in exotic Bhutan, a place I've never visited. Immediately encountering wordy sentences without smooth flow, I struggled through the mildly interesting plot. The characters showed potential but, often, were not fully defined. Interesting facts about Bhutan and the Buddhist monks held some interest but the lack of smooth writing hindered smooth reading.
Caryl L. (Williamsburg, VA)
This is an interesting and very readable book. I expected more on Bhutan's country, beliefs and day-to-day living. However, it is more biographical than historical.
What did she learn? I t seemed to me that she got more out of her "three good things" class in LA than from her visits to Bhutan. However, she did love the peace, easy-going and content lifestyle of the Bhutanese. I would too considering our frantic lives.
I would like to have had some pictures of the beautiful landscape and life in Bhutan.
I do recommend this book for pleasure reading.
Katherine T. (Atlanta, Georgia)
Shangri skip the La
I was very excited about reading this book since I have loved other travel adventure books in the past. However, I found Radio Shangri-La by Lisa Napoli a bit uneven. The first two days in Bhutan are read well and interesting, but then it lost my interest. Too many pages discussing going back and forth and not enough meat or heart regarding Bhutan.