bookczuk's Reviews > Radio Shangri-la: What I Learned in Bhutan, the Happiest Kingdom on Earth

Radio Shangri-la by Lisa Napoli
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Bhutan captured my imagination back in my son's freshman year at Stanford because of a connection with one of his Stanford faculty and the Royal family. He almost spent part of that summer there, but time and finances worked against him heading to the Happiest Kingdom on Earth. Had he gone, he would have been in Bhutan the same time Lisa Napoli first went there, to help with the fledgling youth radio station Kuzoo FM.

There was a lot I liked about this book, but it had little to do with the author's story and more with the country itself. I was fascinated by the story that was behind University of Texas El Paso's architecture being based on Bhutanese architecture. Who knew? I had to look it up to see the Texan interpretation of Himalayan style [ http://universitycommunications.utep.... ] And I, who absolutely love all kinds of graffiti and wall art, or native art that decorates homes in other country got a huge kick out of learning many homes in Bhutan has phalluses painted on them to ward off evil. Of course, that got a google search. Amazing. The unfolding of democracy, and the way auspicious dates were calculated intrigued me. Then there was the general beauty of the country. I spent hours looking at photographs.

As to Napoli's story itself, I had less infatuation. But she had a tale to tell, and told it well. (Many of my frustrations in reading were because this was an uncorrected proof, and there were some mixups with names of characters - real vs fictional. I hope those were straightened out before the book went to press.) Napoli's needs and life are very different from mine, but I still can appreciate her journey -- especially since she gave me a lift, via armchair travelling, to the beautiful kingdom of Bhutan.

Many thanks to for this book. I shall be passing it along via (
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Reading Progress

03/11/2011 page 120
39.0% "Most surprising fact so far: University of Texas El Paso's architecture is based on Bhutanese architecture. Who knew? I had to look it up to see the Texan interpretation of Himalayan style: http://universitycommunications.utep...."

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Yvette (hooked on the nook) I received an uncorrected proof as well. I really enjoyed this book and Lisa's description of Bhutan, the people and her experiences there. I found it fascinating and she captured my imagination. The only problem is the ending seemed a little boring but not bad. Enjoy!

bookczuk I'm not very far in, but am loving it so far -- enough so that even if the ending is a let down, I've come away with more than I started, so that's a big plus!

Yvette (hooked on the nook) That is an excellent perspective. I had never even heard of Bhutan until I read this book, so I concur the books does give so much to the reader.

bookczuk Several offspring of the Royal Family went to Stanford and the ex-tutor of one of the kings/crown princes taught there. That's how it entered my sphere of interest. Until then, it was one of those small countries I knew very little about. But back in the spring of 2008, my husband and I spend hours on the internet looking at pictures. Beautiful!

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