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Sunday, December 3, 2017

5 Star Book Review of "Naked Joy" by Nan Kilmer Baker

Run out and grab a copy of Naked Joy. I'll wait...

while I'm waiting I'm going to grab a cup of coffee and leaf through the mail...

do you have your copy?

wait, aren't coming back because you can't put down this fabulous read?

I get it!

About the book:

What do you know about Idaho other than potatoes or maybe that Ernest Hemingway killed himself here? NAN KILMER BAKER grew up in this sparsely populated northwestern state, a skittish Catholic raised in a town full of eccentric characters who intrigued her enough to write about them years later. Welcome to NAKED JOY, where the author’s heroine AUNT MILLIE raises peacocks, sews an elaborate wardrobe for her detergent bottles, campaigns for JESUS and ignores her sinister husband. Tortured by her mother’s hideous shoes and insensitivity, BAKER is traumatized when before she knows the word “cancer,” the town surgeon cuts off her neighbor CLAIRE’S right leg. An unforgettable visit to the prosthetic factory results as she joins CLAIRE and her glamorous mother while they shop for the perfect new limb. HEMINGWAY chose not to write about Idaho, perhaps because he wanted to keep it as his secret getaway. And get away is what BAKER longs to do while growing up in the “Gem State.” She escapes to attend college and spend a romantic year “studying” in Italy. Next the graduate heads east only to find work as a night receptionist catering to more lunatics. After enduring odd jobs and grad school, she marries and moves to Japan. There tragedy strikes, so the shaken new mother moves on to Thailand to experience a cavernous house full of maids, geckos, and the occasional snake. Eventually our world traveler returns to the states where she suffers “Reverse Culture Shock” and subjects herself to the horrors of retail. Not cut out for sales, she moves on to survive a stint as a spy while living outside the nation’s capital. A collection of charming, quirky, occasionally disturbing tales, NAKED JOY pulls back the curtain on life as observed through the probing eyes of a sensitive, small town girl turned worldly woman. While some writers have stories, others have their own unique voice and way of looking at matters. Warm, witty, and honest, Nan Kilmer Baker shares both.

About the author: 

Nan Kilmer Baker hails from Idaho, the “Famous Potato” state, where she began writing as a young girl and never looked back—moving from diary entries to ghost writing term papers to copy writing.

NAKED JOY is her first book, but in her dependably quirky blog she has been musing for years about topics as diverse as Mr. Clean, travel, toilets, butter and stain removal.
Nan is the mother of two young adults. Having lived abroad for years, she currently resides in Northern Virginia with her husband—and other treasures she collected during her travels.

5 star review:

Before I tell you about this fabulous book, I need to tell you a few things that are important to me:

I love coffee and it's even more amazing when enjoyed wearing slippers and sipping it with a close friend.

I love honesty and especially appreciate people who can laugh at their imperfections.

Of course, the list is much longer: faith, family, farming, blah blah blah and the list goes on.

I had to tell you about the coffee with friends and the honesty because it will help you realize just how big of a compliment it is when I say:

If you love sitting down with a brutally honest friend and enjoying a cup of coffee while laughing at life, you'll absolutely love the book Naked Joy by Nan Kilmer Baker.


The entire time I was reading Naked Joy (and it didn't take long because I couldn't put it down), I kept thinking about the warm fuzzy feeling it brought me. Like enjoying coffee with a friend, this book make me smile, laugh, cry, and I had all the feels as if I were experiencing Catholicism and life right there in Idaho along with my bestie Nan. Isn't that funny? I've never met the author and yet I feel like we grew up together. She has such a nack for storytelling and such a fabulous sense of humor. Regardless of your faith or where you grew up, there are confessions in Naked Joy that will remind you of your own coming of age. 

This is a book you can read quickly or something you can peruse at your leisure. If you are looking for something better than the Chicken Soup for the _____ books but you enjoy a short story that is charming, this is a great alternative. A super fun gift for yourself, or something you could buy a friend and I'm thinking the super fast Amazon delivery people would get it to your door (or theirs) by Christmas!

...and when you are done reading, pop over and we can bake some cookies, brew some coffee, and chat about the lovely Nan as if we had played hop-scotch on the playground with her as children!


About today's reviewer:

Crystal is a council secretary and musician at her church, birth mother, babywearing cloth diapering
mama (aka crunchy mama), business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, Publicist with Dream of Things Publishing, Press Corp teammate for the DairyGirl Network, Unicorn Mom Ambassador, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, five young children (Carmen 10, Andre 9, Breccan 4, Delphine 2, and baby Eudora, two dogs, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, and over 230 Holsteins.

You can find Crystal riding unicorns, taking the ordinary and giving it a little extra (making it extraordinary), blogging and reviewing books, baby carriers, cloth diapers, and all sorts of other stuff here, and at the WOW!Women on Writing blog - Crystal is dedicated to turning life's lemons into lemonade!

1 comment:

  1. Crystal I cannot thank you enough for your fantastic review of my book, NAKED JOY. Especially given your busy life, new baby, unicorn riding, etc. <3 <3 <3