I’m not much of a nonfiction girl. Actually, I sometimes wonder if I have a mild psychological allergy to “real life”, but let’s save the talk about mental quirks for another time. The point I’m coming around to is, you’ll very rarely catch me reading nonfiction unless it’s been assigned for Sunday School or something, and even then, I won’t enjoy it.
And because that was such a blanket statement, you just know there’s an exception coming. You’d be right. Cue the explanation:
I’ve been following the blog of Kate Mardis for – (I check the records that my mental quirk of reluctance to delete emails that I’m 70% sure I’ll never have any further use for compels me to keep) – a little under a month, now. The day after I subscribed, she announced her intention to give away two copies of her lately self-published book, “UNtitled” – one to a lucky winner, and one to a friend of lucky winner’s choosing. Staggeringly, my comment/entry was selected at random (guess I’ll have to turn in my “I never win anything cool” badge; oh well, I had a good run…), so as of about a week ago, I have two signed copies of Kate’s book on my hands. (Worry not, my Tirzah, you’ll get yours in time for Christmas.)
“UNtitled” is a memoir surveying a recent period of unprecedented hardship in the author’s early-twenty-something life. Although the subject matter is fraught with deep emotional pain and spiritual questioning, the tone of the narrative is conversational, often laugh-out-loud humorous, goofy in the way that friends with friends will be, and otherwise sounds very much like the same Kate readers of her blog will have come to know.
Despite my suspicion of nonfiction and longstanding enmity with typos, I very much enjoyed this book. It read as easily as YA chick-lit, and resonated like a daily devotional. Within the pages, I felt closer to this halfway stranger than I do to some people I see multiple times a week. What’s more, her reflections drew my gaze toward the God who’s used this time of yet ongoing challenge to draw her closer to him.
The literary ride is best summarized in Kate’s own words near her book’s end: “Where I thought I was headed at the beginning of all this is nowhere close to where I have ended up… There are undoubtedly a few commas missing, a few words misspelled, and a few thoughts repeated… There have been tears shed on the keys of this Macbook from the emotions these words have uncovered. There have been smiles created at the ends of these sentences because of the jokes I didn’t even plan to make. There has been comfort in the completion of chapters and hope in new ones, too. There have been endings and beginnings that didn’t make sense at first but ended up tied together later on… That’s life, though, right?!”
“UNtitled” has been made in the image of its author: Fun, approachable, imperfect, sincere, beautiful, and for the glory of the God she loves. The book is available for purchase through her blog, here. I do hereby recommend that you go make her day and check it out – yes, even if nonfiction isn’t your usual cup of tea.