All I need to be entertained are cats within ear-scratching distance and a good book . . .OK, maybe that's not ALL I need, but it's a good start.

I love to read. And I love to get recommendations for books to read.

I started Cats and a Book to share the books I read with others. Some I love, some I don't, but you may love the ones I don't, so you're welcome to post your own comments and suggestions.

To make it easier to purchase books you may read about on the blog, I've linked to through The Cats and a Book Bookstore, which is located on the bottom of this page. Your purchases are fulfilled and handled through Amazon. To assure your privacy, Cats and a Book doesn't handle any of your payment or contact information.

Happy reading!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Lost Horizon, by James Hilton

Published by William Morrow & Company in 1934, Lost Horizon is a timeless tale of adventure and mystery. The novel begins with a prologue in which the story is described as true by an eyewitness. The hero is Hugh Conway, a member of the British Consular service, stationed in India. In the course of his evacuation, he and three others were kidnapped and flown to an area that they suspected was near Tibet, where they crash landed. Met by residents of the lamasery of Shangri-la, the group was introduced to a near perfect existence in a remote area--with no way in or out without assistance.

The term "Shangri-la" that is often used to refer to utopia, came from Hilton's book Lost Horizon. Hilton described Shangri-la in his novel as a place of beauty, simplicity, culture, and agelessness. Although the visitors attempt to discover why they were delivered to Shangri-la and what the secrets are to living there, differences in their cultures and religion make it difficult. In this passage, one of the travelers asks,

. . . you're a philosopher, I remember that remark of yours. 'Many religions are moderately true.' You fellows up on that mountain must be a lot of wise guys to have thought that out. You're right, too, I'm dead certain of it."

"But we, " responded Chang dreamily, "are only moderately certain."

Lost Horizon is a multi-faceted book and an engaging story. Hilton's fictional perfect place still captures the imagination.

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