Advance reader reviews of Radio Shangri-La by Lisa Napoli.

Radio Shangri-La

What I Learned in Bhutan, the Happiest Kingdom on Earth

By Lisa Napoli

Radio Shangri-La
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2011,
    304 pages.

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There are currently 23 member reviews
for Radio Shangri-La
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  • Mary H. (Okemos, MI)


    Radio Shangri-La: What I Learned in Bhutan, The Happiest Kingdom on Earth.
    Like many memoirists these days, when Lisa Napoli experienced a mid-life crisis, she jumped at an opportunity to travel to a remote part of the world – in this case, Bhutan. My favorite parts of the book were her nuggets of information about this tiny Himalayan country: why the Bhutanese paint phalluses on their buildings, the extreme spiciness of the food, why the University of Texas at El Paso designs all their buildings in the Bhutanese style (minus the phalluses, I assume) and the country’s serious pursuit of Gross National Happiness instead of a Gross Domestic Product. As she says, Bhutan was "an ancient, once-secluded kingdom now transitioning at warp speed". A few years ago TV was finally allowed in the country and it has brought images of the US –via Baywatch and Sex and the City. Will young Bhutanese's Gross National Happiness change?

    I was interested in this book because I lead an International Book Discussion at the library where I work and we had just read another book about Bhutan. This was a fun and enjoyable read about current events in Bhutan, and I will recommend it to others in our group who want an update about this country, and any other armchair travelers.
  • mainlinebooker(Narberth, PA)


    Disappointing tale
    Perhaps I bring a bias. I have been to Bhutan in the past year and eagerly awaited the depiction of the warm serenity that engulfs the region. Instead, I found a breezy novel with little insight that might appeal to those looking for an entertaining "find yourself' book.I was hoping to hear much more about what she actually did at the radio station and the difficulties she encountered,but again, I found her text to be insubstantial. She talks about various love relationships gone wrong,but brings you to a climax and then drops the stick, never further elucidating what happened. All in all, one might find it a good beach read, but I left it feeling disappointed and wanting more.
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