Read It Forward Editor Kira Walton Reviews Lisa Napoli’s Memoir Radio Shangri-La

Are you reading a book and loving it? Film a short video book review and send it to us. If we feature your review, we’ll send you a great read with our thanks!

What a pleasure it has been getting to know all of you RIFers over the past few years! I love checking out your comments here on the site and on Facebook, reading your blogger reviews, getting your emails, and connecting with you on Twitter and Goodreads.

We’re all super fortunate to be part of such a vibrant community of readers. Your enthusiasm and support really make a difference. On behalf of all the authors we work with at Read It Forward: thank you for passing it on!

We’re excited about these video book reviews and hope you’ll join in the fun. As you can tell from mine – complete with wobbly camera, laptop fan blowing in the background, and not-so-great lighting – these don’t need to be slick productions!

Get recommendations for the greatest books around straight to your inbox every week.

What we want is this: to see your face, hear your voice, and give you the chance to tell everybody about the Read It First book you received from us that you’re reading and loving, or any other book that you’d like to share with the Read It Forward community.

If you have a YouTube account, send us a link to your video. Or, you can upload your video to Facebook and post it to our wall. Or, you can email us at with FTP information. Whatever works for you. We’ll figure this out as we go! By all means, if you have any suggestions, do let us know.

Kira Walton’s Review of Radio Shangri-La by Lisa Napoli

radio-shangi-la-coverThis is a beautiful, beautiful book – an amazing book by an amazing writer. Radio Shangri-La is the memoir of Lisa Napoli’s time in Bhutan helping the young Bhutanese set up their first commercial radio station.

All I can say is that I can’t wait to tell all my friends who loved Eat, Pray, Love about Radio Shangri-La. It’s got that sense of adventure and personal discovery, and Lisa’s writing is just beautiful.

She’s a journalist, and her writing has that exact precision. She’s such a beautiful observer of the people and the place of Bhutan – it’s a magical place, known as “the happiest place on earth.” And she also has a real gift for character, so you’ll meet people in this book you’ll never forget.

She begins her journey in Bhutan in a moment of crisis and grows and comes out of it in a way that I think will really inspire you. I highly recommend Radio Shangri-La to you. It will be on bookshelves wherever books are sold on February 8, 2011.

Dive in to the downloadable excerpt of Lisa Napoli’s Radio Shangri-La

Read Lisa Napoli’s introduction to her series of videos filmed in Bhutan

Enjoy videos of Bhutan on Lisa Napoli’s Radio Shangri-La YouTube Channel

Learn more about Lisa’s extraordinary adventures in Bhutan on

Visit Lisa on her website at

Connect with Lisa on the Radio Shangri-La Facebook fan page

About Kira Walton

Kira Walton

KIRA WALTON has been stalking books all her life as a college English teacher, bookseller, book club consultant, author, and editor.

  • Sid

    Interesting review, Kira — and I love the idea of video book reviews!

  • Vicki

    I so enjoyed Lisa’s Radio Shangri-La. With so much of our own country focused on material possession, it was a breathe of fresh air to watch Lisa “evolve” and find her own inner happiness. The postscript sums up for me what life is all about “I wasn’t waiting for something to fall into place so that life could get started. Life was brimming all around me. And now I understood that what I gave was more important that what I got.” If only more of us could think this very simple mantra–Imagine………

  • Dusty

    Thanks Read if Forward. I got my copy of Radio Shangri-La the other day and I’m already almost half way through. It really does remind me of Eat Pray Love. So far I have enjoyed the simplicity of life in Bhutan and I think we could all use a dose of less to make our lives more pleasurable. Thanks for sharing this great find of a book with me. After I finish reading it, I will be sure to pass it on to the next lucky person in line.

  • Karen

    I really enjoyed this book for the strong message it gives to women everywhere. So often, American culture pigeonholes women into roles that are not spritually satisfying because of the demand to be perfect in looks, performance, and emotions. It is no wonder that as we hit the golden age of our lives we question “is this all there is?” Radio Shgnri-La shows how giving of one’s self to benefit others while also fulfilling an inner need can bring great joy and harmony into our lives.

  • Cindy

    I just received my copy yesterday and am so looking forward to reading it this weekend. Vicki’s comments are great. Sounds like this book is going to be a wonderful escape. Raining outside, warm house, and a good book.

  • Michael Hermann

    This is the first book I have gotten. I love reading and will pass it on to one of my friends. I haven’t started it yet because I have had the flu but will soon.

  • Jan A

    I am so excited to read this. The first few pages have been very insightful. Thanks.

  • Denise L.

    I would love to read this book — it sounds so interesting. My favorite books are ones about real lives and am always so touches to be allowed into someone else’s life.

  • Nancy

    I just received this book after being selected from Read It Forward. Although I am only in the early stages of the story (Lisa has just arrived in Bhutan), I am finding the book equally engaging and entertaining. I can’t wait to see how the story unfolds!!!

  • Carol

    I loved this book! Lisa not only told a story I couldn’t put down, but she also found a way to get me thinking about my own life, and what really is important. i can’t wait to read more of her novels! Thanks, Read It Forward, for sending me this book!

  • cheryl cranford

    love love loved the book.we always seen to focuse on the negatives in life .i went out and bought books for my family to do the 3 things i am happy that happened today it really does make you think more positive about life. it puts things in proportion. take things a little slower look around you and enjoy the little things in life.theres beauty around us just breath and open your eyes its there find it.

  • Yvonne Huff

    I enjoyed reading this book. It made me think of the impact we may have on a small nation like Bhutan. I know it changed “Madam Jane, it really made her a different person and it gives you a glimpse at a different country. It would really be cool to go somewhere like Bhutan. I received this book from Read it First, Pass it on. Its a neat concept and I always try to pass good books on. I will definitely pass this book on.

  • Essie A.

    This was one of the most enjoyable, moving, and impressive experiences that I had reading a book in a long time. I actually began to keep a notebook and pen beside my bed to keep notes on three things that brought me happiness with a smile for that day. Although not there, I could feel the nation of Bhutan through Ms.Napoli’s depictive expressions in writing. I have already passed this book on,and the person to whom I passed it to has passed it on. Thank you RIF for the opportunity and introduction to a very unique author and her book.

  • Julie

    I sat down and started reading this book just about the moment it arrived (thanks Read It Forward) and found it hard to put down. The writing was exceptional–I felt I was right there in Bhutan enjoying the sights and sounds. I think it would be great if we would give ourselves the same opportunity to step out of our lives and regroup. I know as I get older objects, places, and sometimes people in my life are no longer pertinent to my well-being and it would be great to step out and breath for a while. I will have to figure out what’s stopping me.

  • Jen

    As far as a memoir goes this book lacks emotional punch. I found her trek to enlightenment in Bhutan lacking just that, enlightenment. She didn’t really reach any major personal revelations other than falling in love with a country she never knew existed and realizing that yes, their is life outside LA and the US.

  • lynn

    good book loved it.

  • kate sama

    Thank you RIF!!! Love my new read! This is such a great site!

  • kate sama

    LOVE IT!

  • Terri

    Napoli’s writing flowed seamlessly at a comfortable and engaging pace, read which only temporarily mid-way broke from that rhythm. Her struggles with measuring happiness based upon our culture, questions about her future, searching for more than a career, and a desire for simplicity easy to identify with and certain a multitude of other readers would find this to be true. Her journey ends when she has stopped waiting to reach a happy destination in life, but has learned to be happy in the here and now. A memoir that will encourage anyone who reads and hopefully passes on, Radio Shangri-La.

  • Janet Nydegger

    If you like “Radio Shagri-la” and “Eat, Pray, Love” you will love “All Over the Map” by Laura Frazer. It was one of the first books I won when I joined RIF. It is a great book that most women can identify with. I passed it on to Jill and Carolyn. Hopefully the book is still circulating.

  • Rachel

    This is the kind of travel story that engages and sparks my interest in travel. Courageous and responsible. I passed this on to a childhood friend with whom I share a passion for travel. Thank you Lisa and RIF. This is definitely on my recommendation list!

  • maggie

    I read this book in a couple of evenings. I really enjoyed it and enjoyed watching Lisa let go of her unsatisfying, material based life. I was a bit disappointed in the ending, though – does she keep visiting regularly, what does she do to help the orphans; does she raise money for them. I also felt a little sad that Bhutan was on a fast-track of development. I we shouldn’t try to hold people back from the rest of the world, but hate to see the Happiest Kingdom on Earth become just like the rest of the world.

  • Barbara

    I really enjoyed this book about a corner of the world previously almost unknown to me. I loved learning about the culture in Bhutan and the copy of the village architecture here in the states.

    I passed the book on to a member of my Reading Group and she came back the next meeting with her views on the book and her recommendation to read it as well.

  • Renee

    This was my first book i won. I was so excited when it came and couldn’t wait to start it. I didn’t expect a travel book, more a story of love and romance. It had a little bit of both but made me said that i will never be able to travel to such a wounderful and beautiful place like Bhutan. I did enjoy the book and am looking forward to more in the future. Thank You RIF

  • Marie Desmond

    It is a shame that bringing the 21st century to Bhutan will cause it to lose its “Happiest Country” label. The memoir reminded me of how things were when I was a child in the 1940’s.

    I did enjoy the book and passed it on to my daughter.

  • Anne D

    I got this book mid March and started reading it but had a health emergency and quit reading it. I have had no desire to pick it up again and finish the book. The only thing I gained from the book was inciting me to Google Bhutan.

  • teresa

    I had not gotten around to reading this since I received it. But I have just been able to start it and am looking foward to reading it through. Some books are able to grab you from the very beginning. That’s what this is doing for me. Thanks RIF.

  • Sharon

    I received this book quite awhile ago.I started reading it immediately, but could not read it continuously. It was a bit slow, however, it kept my attention to the end. I was anticipating excitment, but for me there was none. I did enjoy the way in which she described the country and the simple lifestyles of the people of Bhutan.

    I will pass this book on to my good friend who likes to read a variety of subjects.

[email_signup id="4" download="" success="Success! Click below to get your bookmarks."]
[email_signup id="4"]