Book Review and Giveaway: Radio Shangri-La

Author: Lisa Napoli

Publisher: Crown Publishing, 2011

Genre: Memoir/Travelouque

Format: Hardcover

Source: From the publisher for a TLC Book Tour

My Rating: A

Radio Shangri-La is the uplifting story of a journey, one that is both physical and internal. Lisa Napoli, a well-known public radio journalist (Market Place) takes us along with her as she explores the little known country of Bhutan (bu ta n) and as she assesses her life at it’s mid-point.

Through a friend of a friend, 43-year old Lisa Napoli was invited to Bhutan to help a fledgling, independent radio station. This meant her time there was not as a tourist but as someone with a job and an apartment and access to the Bhutanese people who also lived and worked there.

Fortunately for us, Ms. Napoli is a keen observer of the details around her. I felt as if I had also been to Bhutan. Through her descriptions I could actually see what people looked like, what they were wearing and eating and talking about. I loved her descriptions of the radio station as well as the mountains and the city streets. I could even imagine the monkeys skipping along the river.

Ms. Napoli’s observations extended to cultural, historical and political information as well. I felt that, by the end of the book, I had a fairly good understanding of this country that is landlocked between China and India and surrounded on three sides by the Himalyas. Because she was in a good position to observe the comings and goings of the royalty and other high officials in Bhutan, it felt like I was also in on the latest news. It wasn’t in a gossipy way but more of a “here’s what I’ve been told” style.

Lisa Napoli seems to excel at making friends and I truly enjoyed getting to know the various people she introduced me to in Radio Shangri-La. I especially enjoyed getting to know Nguwang, a young Bhutanese friend at the radio station. Very interesting was the account of Nguwang’s visit to Ms. Napoli in Los Angeles. It was quite the culture shock.

The people of Bhutan were treated with the utmost respect in this book, which is something I appreciate. I do not like books in which Americans travel to under-developed countries and complain about their backwardness. Ms. Napoli admires the people and their culture. She worries about how western influence will harm them. Bhutan is currently considered one of the happiest countries in the world. I agree that it would be great if it could stay that way.

Recommend? Yes, I strongly recommend Radio Shangri-La to those of you who love to discover or learn about new cultures and/or travel to new countries.


The publisher has very generously offered two copies as a giveaway to my readers. If you are interested, please let me know in the comments section. I’ll keep the giveaway open through March 17th and announce the winners on March 18th.

For more information on Lisa Napoli check her blog here: Lisa Napoli

To participate in a book drive for Bhutan, go here: Books To Bhutan

I want to thank Lisa at TLC Book Tours for asking me to read this book. She knew I’d like it and she was right. For other stops on the Radio Shangri-La Book Tour visit here: TLC Book Tours

Photo Credits: The map is from  Wikipedia. The picture of the charming children was shamelessly stolen from the author’s blog.

This entry was posted in A Book, Book Tour, Giveaways and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Book Review and Giveaway: Radio Shangri-La

  1. Cath says:

    You don’t say whether you’ll post overseas, if you will then I would love to be added to the draw for this wonderful sounding book. If not, ignore me. 🙂

  2. Quirky Cafe says:

    I would love to read this – that part of the world fascinates me. I am going to look at Books for Bhutan now. I am also overseas but would be happy to pay the postage. Thanks for the review.

  3. Quirky Cafe says:

    I would love to be added to the draw too – I am in Wales but would happily pay the postage. I am going to head over to Books for Bhutan now. Thanks for the review!

  4. I just won this elsewhere, which is great, because this author will be at the Tucson Book Festival this weekend!

  5. leslie says:

    nice review. you have me interested. please enter me in your drawing.

  6. Martha says:

    I would love to win a copy. I’ve heard many good things about this book and I love your review. The girl on the far right in the picture you posted looks so much like a friend of my daughters, it makes me smile every time I see it.

  7. Annie says:

    I like very much your review ! I like reading travel book and this one interessed me a lot, because I know nothong about Bhutan. Thanks !

  8. This sounds like my kind of book! My book club will be reading this soon, so I already have a copy – no need to enter me.

  9. This sounds like an excellent book. I love to read travel books and completely agree with you about hating those that put people down because their country is not ours. (Just as I dislike people who talk that way about places they’ve been.)

  10. Martha says:

    Hey Margot, Just a quick note to tell you you can take me out of the running. I just received a copy of Radio Shangri-La in the mail today. I can’t wait to read it.

  11. Amused says:

    No need to enter me.

    I just wanted to say that i loved your review. I have this one sitting on my shelf to read and it sounds like I need to push it forward. What a delightful read!

  12. Sheila says:

    I would love to read this book—please enter me to win!

  13. Beverly H. says:

    Sounds like a good read! Please include me in your giveaway!

  14. stacy says:

    We just saw this country on House Hunters International and were intrigued. Looks like a very interesting country.

  15. Noelani says:

    Ready to pack my bags after reading the review. Have always wanted to go to Bhutan – now even more compelled. Would love a copy – thank you!

  16. Staci says:

    I just read about this somewhere ( I forgot where) and thought it sounded wonderful. To read that you gave it an A makes me happy!!!

    I’d love a chance to win a copy 😀

  17. Belle Wong says:

    This sounds like a lovely book, Margot – I’d love a chance to win a copy!

  18. Nan says:

    Oh, this sounds wonderful. Please enter my name, Margot.

  19. Rural View says:

    Oooh this sounds good. Please enter me in the giveaway.

  20. Esme says:

    No need to enter me. I have this book. I went and listened to Lisa speak. She was quite interesting.

  21. ikkinlala says:

    I’d love to enter if Canadians may – this looks like an interesting book.

  22. mrsshukra says:

    My friend just returned from Bhutan! Would love to read this book!

  23. dag888888 says:

    Wonderful review, thank you! Please enter me in this giveaway!

  24. Pingback: Lisa Napoli, author of Radio Shangri-La, on tour February/March 2011 | TLC Book Tours

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