misstreebc (misstreebc) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

# 23 Radio Shangri La: What I Learned From the Happiest Kingdom on Earth

Radio Shangri-La

Lisa Napoli

Lisa Napoli was a radio journalist in New York when she got the opportunity to go to the little-known Himalyan Kingdom of Bhutan, a place where the nation's success is not measured by the GDP, but by GNH...gross national happiness. Napoli volunteered to help Bhutan set up their first youth-oriented radio station, Kuzoo FM.

In spite of the over-supply of travel sub-genre where a woman reaches middle-age and decides to travel to an exotic location on some kind of quest to find herself, to find meaning, to find love, or to find something else, I still enjoyed this book, which almost falls in the category.

I especially enjoyed learning about little-known Bhutan, but I'm afraid the only thing I garnered from the book about happiness, in spite of the subtitle, is that ignorance is bliss, I suppose. The king had kept Bhutan isolated from the rest of the world, and the inhabitants seemed to me to have a certain chldlike quality...a simplicity, a sense of wonder at the world that was slowly opening up for them, and a sort of patriarchal devotion to the king who seemed a father figurehead.
I don't think that Napoli made clear what it is that she learned from Bhutan, except that a simpler life is less stressful and therefore happier.

This was not the greatest book I've ever read, but I did enjoy it


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