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Married To Bhutan

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3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  817 Ratings  ·  124 Reviews
Tucked away in the eastern end of the Himalayas lies Bhutan--a tiny, landlocked country bordering China and India. Impossibly remote and nearly inaccessible, Bhutan is rich in natural beauty, exotic plants and animals, and crazy wisdom. It is a place where people are genuinely content with very few material possessions and the government embraces "Gross National Happiness" ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by Hay House (first published April 1st 2011)
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Philip
Mar 24, 2011 Philip rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


Bhutan Husband

To the best of my knowledge the U.S. is not - nor have they ever been at war with Bhutan. While this is probably a good thing for both countries and their people, it means that most of us don't know where Bhutan is... (Hence the map.)

It's rare for me to win a first-reads book, even more so for me to win one that I really enjoy reading - and I really enjoyed reading Married to Bhutan.

Married to Bhutan was unpretentious and honest. I'm fairly well travelled - spending a couple years in Haiti, mo
...more
Kae Cheatham
Jan 14, 2011 Kae Cheatham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, memoir
I'm fortunate to get an ARC of this. Can't wait to get into it!
I read this slowly, savoring the language and tone.


Although many elements of Married to Bhutan are like a memoir, the book is more than a chronology of events. In this book, Linda Leaming tells how she came to be in Bhutan, and describes the country and the people in a way that makes the reader understand why she has lived there for more than fifteen years. Insight into her own character and what Bhutan gave to her is interspersed wi
...more
Cathy
From Linda Leaming's first experience with Bhutan in August of 1994 a true love was forged in her heart forever linking and drawing her back to this wondrous land and its people.
The author transports the reader to her beloved, adopted country of Bhutan, an isolated, little known country in the Himalayan region. It is in this place where an uncomplicated, slower-paced existence suits the kind and introspective people of this land.
The charm and love of Bhutan is vividly portrayed. This land of
...more
Mike Coleman
Jan 02, 2013 Mike Coleman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My friend Linda Leaming, a freelance writer in Nashville, dropped everything one day and moved to Bhutan, the tiny country tucked away in the eastern end of the Himalayas. She had traveled there and fallen in love with the landscape, the people and their way of life.

She found a teaching job, and, soon thereafter, found a man, a native Buddhist artist who had never been to the West. They married and, 12 years later, live happily together on a farm outside Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital. Linda’s adven
...more
Judith
Feb 24, 2013 Judith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Judith by: Bhutan Book Group
Even if you've never heard of Bhutan or you don't have any desire to travel to Bhutan, this book is a beautifully written story of the simplicity of the Bhutanese people. They are considered the happiest people in the world. They live very simple, kind lives and have a great sense of community. We are very privileged to live in America, but with all that privilege, we live very complex and complicated lives. This book reminds us that there may be a way for us to simplify our lives and perhaps be ...more
Linda Leaming
Jan 14, 2011 Linda Leaming rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Thanks all for the reviews. Would readers of MTB be interested in a book describing how I translate what I learned and how I live in Bhutan to our lives when we come to the U.S.?
Veronica Schleihauf
I was hesitant to read this novel as it has the makings of the most annoying kind of travel memoir - middle aged american woman goes to a foreign land to discover herself and her spirituality, exoticising and misrepresenting cultures in the process.

But my curiosity about Bhutan drew me in, and I'm so glad it did.

The book isn't perfect - there's not much structure and sometimes lacking drive in between anecdotes. But as a memoir its a fascinating and gentle read.

Linda is also different from othe
...more
Lilisa
An interesting insight into life in Bhutan. In 1994, Linda Leaming, a native of Tennessee, United States, traveled to Asia as a tourist and visited several countries, including Bhutan and fell in love with the country, the simple lifestyle and its people. In 1997 she moved to Bhutan to live and teach English. The memoir is a delightful insight into the culture, people and lifestyle in Bhutan and the author’s experience as she struggles initially to adjust to a culture very different from the Wes ...more
Sue
Mar 20, 2011 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was thrilled to win this book in a First Reads giveaway.

Leaming moved to Bhutan after visiting and loving it. She teaches English there, then marries another teacher at the school who is an artist. Leaming documents some of the characteristics of Bhutan that charmed her and surprised her. The government, the environmental protection, the strong Buddhist traditions. Her writing really takes off in the last half of the book, when it becomes more about her personal experiences- shopping for enve
...more
Jaylia3
Apr 04, 2011 Jaylia3 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The memoir Married to Bhutan is a joy to read. It’s an earnest, lighthearted, colorful account of leaving the fast-paced, consumption-driven American life behind to live in one of the most isolated and beautiful spots on the planet. Bhutan is most famous because its king promotes Gross National Happiness over GDP, and because he voluntarily transitioned his country from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional democracy. Bhutan is not easy to get to. It’s a tiny country between India and the Tib ...more
Nilesh Rana
Nov 07, 2011 Nilesh Rana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 'Married to Bhutan' is an account of Universal Happiness which lies within one's own self, and thus resides the real God in you! Married to Bhutan, quite a simple, lucid, amazing and original biographical - soulful account, which unfolds a 'journey' and unearths eternal bliss, to be reckoned for times to come.

Generations of today, who are laden with and wrapped in present global hyper-space-time, illusions and urban paraphernalia, their wants for superficial pleasure and when getting deflect
...more
Meaghan
Feb 10, 2012 Meaghan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book reminds me quite a bit of Erica Johnson Debeljak's Forbidden Bread : both authors are Americans who traveled a great distance to settle permanently in a country much different from their own (in Debeljak's case, Slovenia), and married natives of that country. But while Debeljak's book is mainly focused on her relationship with her husband -- whom she met in America and followed to his home country -- Leaming's book is a love letter not just to her Bhutanese artist husband but to Bhuta ...more
Terri
Oct 26, 2011 Terri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-books-read
I thought this was a very interesting memoir. I had never even heard of Bhutan before reading this book--now I'd love to go there. The author has a way of giving you a glimpse of life in Bhutan, and I found the people who live there to be charming. There's a lot to be said for a place where things are measured by happiness as opposed to money. A simple way of living that gives you a window into what life must have been like for American's living pre-1900. Somehow, no windows, no running water or ...more
Melissa
Nov 01, 2011 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir-biography
Such a fascinating read about a country which is nearly impossible to fly into even in 2011 (I thought maybe we could take one of our vacations there, I think it requires more planning than we generally conduct for travels). A short stay in Bhutan quickly lead to life in Bhutan for Linda Leaming and the stories she shares are humurous, enlightening and entertaining.

A few gems:

"So along with all this peaceful beauty, there's a lot of vulnerability." (p.6)

"Sins of the flesh are probably the least
...more
Faith
Oct 18, 2011 Faith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Recommended if you want to learn about Bhutan, expand your horizons or like stories about people who move to new lands.

I'm not a fan of non-fiction in general, so while I only liked this book I rated it a little higher to account for my bias. I appreciated learning about the author's experiences of Bhutan, I have not read many Buddhist texts although I'm familiar with the principles, and it was nice to learn more.

Her impressions of the tiny country really struck me, as well as her observations a
...more
Lia
Apr 23, 2011 Lia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: preached-from-it
I have to confess that I bought this book because I have a six-degree separation from Linda Leaming, and I felt like it would be the nice thing to do. My so-called good deed turned into a learning experience, a spiritual journey, and a book that I just couldn't put down.

Leaming writes:

We get our death simulated, or pumped with embalming fluid, dressed up, and laid out for viewing. It's on television or YouTube. As a result, we're not on very good terms with death. This is understandable--it's ab
...more
Shrihari
Feb 18, 2015 Shrihari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would call this book 'a crash course of Bhutan and its history' through the eyes of an American woman.

This is a beautifully written story about how a woman moved to Bhutan, embraced the culture and found peace. The western perspective makes it all the more interesting. The language is simple and the writing is engaging.

Along with her personal story, Linda blends in a lot of information about Bhutan's history and culture. This was much more interesting for me than reading on Wikipedia or Lonely
...more
ABC
May 08, 2011 ABC rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teens-and-adults
This is about a woman's life in Bhutan. She first went there when she about thirty-eight (I believe) which she doesn't mention until the end of the book, but should have mentioned at the beginning.

It's interesting to learn about this country. Prior to reading this book, the only thing I knew about Bhutan is that once I watched a documentary in which westerners who are professional cross-country unicyclers (!!!!) ride their unicycles in the rugged Bhutan countryside. I learned a lot about unicyc
...more
Darlene
What a beautiful book! I'm sorry it has taken me so long to get around to reading it. Ms. Leaming made me feel I was walking beside her as she discovered the country and man of her dreams. And yet it wasn't a hopeless romantic book, more that by following her intuition she just happened to be in the right place and time for everything to fall into place, the husband just part of that. I love learning about the philosophies/religion of this country as well as about the geography and language. I r ...more
Marija
Jul 11, 2012 Marija rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It's about country I always wanted to visit. I wish the author gave more details on the way her seemingly mysterious intercultural marriage worked. Maybe she left that out to honor her husband, but I surely would love to hear about daily or even annual routines. The fact that neither speak the other's language fluently alone makes me want more from her.

That said, this is a fascinating account in a fascinating country. The author did a terrific job of describing historical, rel
...more
Carla
Apr 14, 2011 Carla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved it! My whole office staff loved it. Highs, lows, laughs and grins, it is pure joy and happiness to read this book and I wish it went on and on and on! Married to Bhutan makes me want to love life to its fullest and to cherish the little things of everyday. I felt as though i were right there with Linda, feeling her feellings and sharing her thoughts but at the end it made me feel richer for my own triumphs and laughable moments. It made me happy to be me and to have had experiences that ...more
Larelle
May 02, 2011 Larelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing insight to a country quite cut off from the world. Linda provides such wonderful imagery in a way that doesn't make the read taxing. I can see why she's in love with the place, and that love comes across on every page. If you have ever been intrigued about the country of Bhutan and wanted to learn more about it (short of going there and visiting the country yourself), I recommend this book. A great read.
Mona
May 21, 2012 Mona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-group, ebook, bhutan
Having spent a couple of weeks in magical Bhutan I instantly ordered this book through Kindle and gobbled it up in a weekend of joyful reading. My India Book Club friends agreed to make Married to Bhutan one of our monthly selections because (We aren't rigid!) Bhutan borders India. Now there are eight of us awaiting the sequel to this classy, beautifully-written memoir.
Karen
Feb 11, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel-the-world
Informative book on a little known country that is one of the happiest countries in the world. I picked up this book because the author was mentioned Eric Weiner's book: The Geography of Bliss. Leaming tells of her travels to Bhutan, falls in love with the country, comes back to the U.S., sells everything and goes back yo live in Bhutan.
Arlene
Feb 27, 2012 Arlene rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Having heard Leaming interviewed on NPR, the book sounded intriguing. The book was not well written and she was too self-indulgent. I didn't care enough about her to read so much about her love of Bhutan.
Ozzy
Jul 21, 2016 Ozzy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What do you do when you fall in love? You write a book, man! I have to say, Leaming does it eloquently. An articulate observation of/about Bhutan from an outsider who is also an insider (no pun intended.) Wonderfully calm read. Loved the tone and the poetical sound of the narration.
Lisa
May 15, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid memoir of an international marriage in Bhutan, this book contains plenty of delicious cultural tidbits and even the occasional bit of wisdom without getting too preachy. An enjoyable read.
Jenn the Librarian
Read this while in Bhutan, it really made the book come alive for me, I was in some of the places she described as I was reading.
Barbara
Jul 07, 2012 Barbara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book-this author takes into the land of Bhutan, where serenity lives and the modern world isn't welcome...a must read if you like to travel to exotic places~
Aparajita Singh
Jan 25, 2017 Aparajita Singh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well I am not an avid reader but life somehow gave me time enough to indulge in book reading and let me assure all the non readers and wanting to understand that there is much more to life than just mundane work and work , this is the book. With Bhutan and mountains in the backdrop it beautifully presents that life is much more than our daily routine, money and material comforts ! It takes you into a journey full of simplicity and therefore happiness ! Wish we could all live in world like this i ...more
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Linda Leaming went to Bhutan for the first time in 1994. "A nice diversion," is how the travel agent described it. It was. And it still is. She found a home and a voice among the remote and mysterious Himalayan mountains. She also found romance with an intriguing Bhutanese painter. Her work has appeared in Ladies’ Home Journal, Mandala, Guardian UK, A Woman’s Asia (Travelers’ Tales, 2005), and man ...more
More about Linda Leaming...

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“Bhutan does seem a bit unreal at times. Hardly anybody in the U.S. knows where it is. I have friends who still think the entire country is a figment of my imagination. When I was getting ready to move there, and I told people I was going to work in Bhutan, they'd inevitably ask, "Where's Butane?"

It is near Africa," I'd answer, to throw them off the trail. "It's where all the disposable lighters come from."

They'd nod in understanding.”
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“There are all kinds of ignorance in the world. Education, learning to read and write, doesn't necessarily give us knowledge. We have to learn to use our minds to see what is really happening.” 10 likes
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