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Radio Shangri-La: What I Learned in Bhutan, the Happiest Kingdom on Earth

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Radio Shangri-La: What I Learned in Bhutan, the Happiest Kingdom on Earth Cover

ISBN13: 9780307453020
ISBN10: 0307453022
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Lisa Napoli was in the grip of a crisis, dissatisfied with her life and her work as a radio journalist. When a chance encounter with a handsome stranger presented her with an opportunity to move halfway around the world, Lisa left behind cosmopolitan Los Angeles for a new adventure in the ancient Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan — said to be one of the happiest places on earth. Long isolated from industrialization and just beginning to open its doors to the modern world, Bhutan is a deeply spiritual place, devoted to environmental conservation and committed to the happiness of its people — in fact, Bhutan measures its success in Gross National Happiness rather than in GNP. In a country without a single traffic light, its citizens are believed to be among the most content in the world. To Lisa, it seemed to be a place that offered the opposite of her fast-paced life in the United States, where the noisy din of sound-bite news and cell phones dominate our days, and meaningful conversation is a rare commodity; where everyone is plugged in digitally, yet rarely connects with the people around them.

Thousands of miles away from everything and everyone she knows, Lisa creates a new community for herself. As she helps to start Bhutan's first youth-oriented radio station, Kuzoo FM, she must come to terms with her conflicting feelings about the impact of the medium on a country that had been shielded from its effects. Immersing herself in Bhutan's rapidly changing culture, Lisa realizes that her own perspective on life is changing as well — and that she is discovering the sense of purpose and joy that she has been yearning for. In this smart, heartfelt, and beautifully written book, sure to please fans of transporting travel narratives and personal memoirs alike, Lisa Napoli discovers that the world is a beautiful and complicated place — and comes to appreciate her life for the adventure it is.

Review:

"When Napoli met the handsome Sebastian at a cookbook party in New York City, she was intrigued by this man who traveled to Bhutan regularly. And when the accomplished L.A.-based journalist (MSNBC, CNN, public radio's Marketplace) researched the country about which he spoke so enthusiastically, she became entranced with Bhutan, a tiny Himalayan kingdom that sits between India and China. This country — dubbed 'the happiest on earth' because of its focus on environmental and social progress — is hard to get to, with its remote location and governmental deterrents to tourism, like a per-person, per-day tourist tax. But a friend of Sebastian's needs help with startup radio station Kuzoo FM, so Napoli leaves L.A. and goes to Bhutan for six weeks. She writes, 'After more than two decades of reducing even the most complex issues to 1,000 words or less, I was tired of observing life from a distance.' While the author turns an eye on her own motivations (nothing further developed with Sebastian), she refrains from tortured navel-gazing and instead shares and reflects on Bhutan's people, history, and customs (from painting phalluses on houses to repel evil spirits to Buddhism's role in daily life). Napoli's adventures at home and abroad, in nature and career and spirit, will delight readers. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

Review:

"Enjoyable memoir about ex-journalist Napoli's search for wholeness and spiritual renewal. A refreshingly uplifting book." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Bummed out in midlife, [Lisa] Napoli went to Bhutan to volunteer at the country's first youth-oriented radio station...She reveals the truths — and, yes, happiness — she found there. Perfect for everyone who loves finding-yourself-through-travel memoirs." Library Journal

Review:

"Radio Shangri-La has shades of Pico Iyer and Bruce Chatwin and a similar genius for parachuting the reader into a strange land and culture Bhutan has long fascinated me and Radio Shangri-La is the perfect vehicle to get there." Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone

Review:

"Radio Shangri-La grabs you by the heart and takes you on a winding dual journey — into the self and into a fairy tale kingdom known for measuring happiness as its gross national product. Charming, illuminating, and often ironic, this memoir is a continuous discovery of myths and realities in finding deeper personal meaning." Amy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club and Saving Fish from Drowning

Review:

"Radio Shangri-Lais a beautiful, touching and deeply compelling memoir by a well-known public radio reporter who arrived in the tranquil kingdom of Bhutan to help establish the nation's first radio station and, as important, to further her own mid-life assessment of a life that felt full of missteps. The book is delightful reading — honest, moving and quietly spiritual as it offers both an intimate portrait of a country only halfway to modernity and a soul in quest of meaning." Scott Turow, author of Innocent

Review:

"Comparisons to the wildly popular Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert's international travel romp through meals, meditation, and men, are easy to see....In a refreshing twist on the female travel memoir, Napoli stands brilliantly apart from [Elizabeth] Gilbert in that, in the end, she chooses herself and not another man." Boston.com

Book News Annotation:

In the tradition of looking East to solve the malaise of Western life, radio journalist Napoli found herself working in a youth-oriented radio station in Bhutan, a small Buddhist monarchy in the Himalayas. She tells the story of her life there and how the people of the country changed her point of view and pulled her from a midlife depression. She also comments on the radical changes going on in the country as it tries to modernize without becoming homogenized. Entertainingly written and free of the cloying self-pity of similar books, this may inspire others to seek out a radically different life. Even those without angst will enjoy the tales of life in Bhutan. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Video

About the Author

Lisa Napoli is a journalist whose last staff job was on the public radio show Marketplace. An early chronicler of the dawn of the World Wide Web as a columnist at the New York Times CyberTimes, she has also been the Internet correspondent at MSNBC. She began her career at CNN, worked in local news in North Carolina, and has directed several documentaries about Southern culture. www.LisaNapoli.com

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

JEAVES, August 18, 2012 (view all comments by JEAVES)
Radio Shangri-La is the story Lisa Napoli's adventure in establishing a radio station in Bhutan. Bhutan is a place many Americans have probably never heard of.It is a Himalayan Kingdom, neighbored by India and China. In survey after survey, the Bhutanese have found to be and consider themselves the happiest people on Earth. This book is about Miss Napoli's midlife crisis that led her there and what she learned from the Bhutanese that has made her life happier and more fulfilling. She also worries about the encroaching modern world on Bhutan and what that may mean to the the people there. Along the way, she meets some very interesting characters and experiences some culture shock over plural marriages and the poverty in some parts of Bhutan. Overall, it is an enjoyable book about a place many people have never heard of and might inspire you to explore a mid-life crisis of your own.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
Denise Morland, March 16, 2011 (view all comments by Denise Morland)
In Radio Shangri-La Lisa Napoli is struggling on the edges of depression, trying to find a way to reconcile herself with a life that isn't all she dreamed of. It all begins when she attends an experimental workshop on positive thinking. One day the instructor assigns the class homework, each night before you go to bed write down three good things that happened. As Lisa takes the assignment to heart her outlook on life and what she values begins to change.

Thus when the friend of a friend leading trips into the mysterious land of Bhutan offers to help her get a position starting up Bhutan's first ever radio station she doesn't hesitate but dives in head first. All she knows about Bhutan is that it is widely considered the Happiest Kingdom on Earth and measures the Gross National Happiness of its citizens, but she is determined to find out if the people there are really all that happy and how to achieve that for herself.

This was a very fun and light hearted look at the female midlife crisis. While Lisa works through some serious issues in the book you never doubt that she will come out shining in the end. The glimpse into the land of Bhutan is fascinating. The travel literature aspect of the book was phenomenal. I feel like I have actually visited the place myself and met the people. I love that she didn't try to sugar coat the situation in Bhutan or ignore the changes going on there, it made the book feel all the more authentic. I recommend this book as a great summer escape.
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(3 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307453020
Subtitle:
What I Learned in Bhutan, the Happiest Kingdom on Earth
Author:
Napoli, Lisa
Publisher:
Crown
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Bhutan Description and travel.
Subject:
Napoli, Lisa - Travel - Bhutan
Subject:
General Travel
Subject:
Asia - Southwest
Subject:
Biography - General
Publication Date:
20110208
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
9.53 x 6.35 x 1.13 in 1.1 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Travel » Asia » General
Travel » Travel Writing » Asia
Travel » Travel Writing » General

Radio Shangri-La: What I Learned in Bhutan, the Happiest Kingdom on Earth Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.50 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Crown Publishing Group (NY) - English 9780307453020 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "When Napoli met the handsome Sebastian at a cookbook party in New York City, she was intrigued by this man who traveled to Bhutan regularly. And when the accomplished L.A.-based journalist (MSNBC, CNN, public radio's Marketplace) researched the country about which he spoke so enthusiastically, she became entranced with Bhutan, a tiny Himalayan kingdom that sits between India and China. This country — dubbed 'the happiest on earth' because of its focus on environmental and social progress — is hard to get to, with its remote location and governmental deterrents to tourism, like a per-person, per-day tourist tax. But a friend of Sebastian's needs help with startup radio station Kuzoo FM, so Napoli leaves L.A. and goes to Bhutan for six weeks. She writes, 'After more than two decades of reducing even the most complex issues to 1,000 words or less, I was tired of observing life from a distance.' While the author turns an eye on her own motivations (nothing further developed with Sebastian), she refrains from tortured navel-gazing and instead shares and reflects on Bhutan's people, history, and customs (from painting phalluses on houses to repel evil spirits to Buddhism's role in daily life). Napoli's adventures at home and abroad, in nature and career and spirit, will delight readers. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Review" by , "Enjoyable memoir about ex-journalist Napoli's search for wholeness and spiritual renewal. A refreshingly uplifting book."
"Review" by , "Bummed out in midlife, [Lisa] Napoli went to Bhutan to volunteer at the country's first youth-oriented radio station...She reveals the truths — and, yes, happiness — she found there. Perfect for everyone who loves finding-yourself-through-travel memoirs."
"Review" by , "Radio Shangri-La has shades of Pico Iyer and Bruce Chatwin and a similar genius for parachuting the reader into a strange land and culture Bhutan has long fascinated me and Radio Shangri-La is the perfect vehicle to get there."
"Review" by , "Radio Shangri-La grabs you by the heart and takes you on a winding dual journey — into the self and into a fairy tale kingdom known for measuring happiness as its gross national product. Charming, illuminating, and often ironic, this memoir is a continuous discovery of myths and realities in finding deeper personal meaning."
"Review" by , "Radio Shangri-Lais a beautiful, touching and deeply compelling memoir by a well-known public radio reporter who arrived in the tranquil kingdom of Bhutan to help establish the nation's first radio station and, as important, to further her own mid-life assessment of a life that felt full of missteps. The book is delightful reading — honest, moving and quietly spiritual as it offers both an intimate portrait of a country only halfway to modernity and a soul in quest of meaning."
"Review" by , "Comparisons to the wildly popular Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert's international travel romp through meals, meditation, and men, are easy to see....In a refreshing twist on the female travel memoir, Napoli stands brilliantly apart from [Elizabeth] Gilbert in that, in the end, she chooses herself and not another man."
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