Saturday, July 2, 2011

Review-Radio Shangri-La, by Lisa Napoli

Lisa Napoli
Crown Publishers
February 2011
$25.00/$28.95CAN, Hardcover
304 pages

Review by Wisteria ©

It has been said that you can go just about anywhere within the pages of a book. When you read Radio Shangri-La I believe this belief is close to achievable.  Lisa Napoli was looking for happiness. In her forties, working in public radio, she was more than unhappy. So much so that she took a course in happiness where she learned that writing down three things that brought her happiness each day would lead to some sort of enlightenment. She diligently did her homework assigned, with limited success.
When an opportunity to travel to Bhutan to help with a start-up radio station, Kuzoo FM, crossed her life path, she surprised herself by taking the job. Her account of her journey to the small country nestled between India and China, seemingly untouched by the modern world is a breathtaking journey of self-discovery.  After all, when the country measures its wealth by the Gross National Happiness and not the GNP, there must be something to this story?

Napoli has a comfortable writing style that flows easily and is a quick light read. She is humorous with just the right balance of her philosophic discovery without being preachy.
If anything, everyone will want to travel to Bhutan, but the cost may dissuade you. The travel and tourism tax collected by the government is about $200.00 per day. Not to mention, the prohibitive cost for a hotel that for most is astronomical.  Travel in and out of Bhutan is an arduous adventure. As the author discovers, because of the mountains that surround Bhutan’s only airport, it is known as the “scariest airport in the world.” That’s  a comforting travel tip to keep in mind along with the seemingly endless hours of travel from the United States.

The author is more than a tourist during her many visits to Bhutan, so her perspective is less visitor and more a foster citizen, temporary yet welcomed.  To replicate her experience would be impossible as a casual tourist. However, the unimaginable beauty and majesty of the Himalayan landscape and its people who hug Bhutan with happiness must be an experience in a lifetime.

I highly recommend Radio Shangri-La for anyone who wants to discover Bhutan, an extraordinary country.  As you follow Lisa Napoli’s quest for happiness, you just might uncover three things that will bring happiness to your own life.

Disclosure: The copy of this book was an ARC provided at no cost for an honest review by Crown Publishers. 

Author Website:

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2008-2011].

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Blogger Helen's Book Blog said...

I really enjoyed this book when I read it a few months ago. I found it interesting, a fun read, and I learned a ton about Bhutan! I think she has a nice easy writing style

7/3/11, 11:35 PM  

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