I have just finished reading "Lost Horizon" by James Hilton, and I must say that it is one of the most beautiful and entrancing works I have ever read... I was originally drawn to it by the place in which the story happens-Shangri-La, Tibet, and by the beautiful description of the sceneries, but while reading the book I came to realize that it's so much more than that...
It relates how four foreigners scheduled to take a flight Switzerland to India had their plane hijacked, and were instead taken to the high plateaus of Tibet, where they met a "postulant" who took them back to the lamasery he was living in. That lamasery was Shangri-La, and the book proceeds to unfold the mysterious and mesmerizing aspects of serenity, peace, and eternity reigning over the lamasery and the Blue Moon valley beneath it, in constrast to the endless warfare and ever-growing will to conquer and destroy, which dominates the outside world. It evokes a sense of calmeness in the reader's heart, but, towards the end, also a touch of sorrow at the unreachability of the paradise...