In A Beginner’s Guide to Changing the World Losada decides to devote a year of her life to a worthy cause in an attempt to see whether an individual can make real changes. Her chosen cause is the Tibetan situation. This makes the book sound incredibly serious, but what I like about Losada’s style is her way of communicating as if she & you are sitting in the room together & she’s chatting to you personally. She is a very witty writer & what could be a dry and depressing topic is actually very funny at times, whilst not losing sight of the serious objectives.
The book is divided into three main sections. In the first part Isabel Losada recounts her decision to travel to Tibet & see the situation at first hand. This reads as an exciting travelogue & paints at times an amusing and then touching picture of Tibet & its People. In the second section back at home in London, Losada contemplates the possible ways she could support the Tibetan cause, culminating in planning a daring publicity stunt promoting the Dalai Lama’s peaceful stance against violence at a time when the world had embarked on the ‘War on Terror’. In the third section of the book Losada is invited to Dharamsala to meet His Holiness himself.
You can expect to experience the full range of human emotion as you read Losada’s account. At times she is laugh out loud funny, at others you’ll be outraged by the callous treatment of the Tibetan people by the Chinese occupiers. You’ll find yourself sharing Losada’s frustration in her search for a way to make a difference and her excitement and nerves in mounting the stunt. Then there’s the anticipation of meeting His Holiness- I had a tear in my eye & felt I was in the room with them.
Isabel Losada is also the author of The Battersea Park Road to Enlightenment, which I read a few years ago & loved. If you haven’t read it yet I highly recommend it.