From Inkwell Readers Group

Inkwell Readers Group, set-up at the arts and mental health charity, Inkwell, has been running for a year now. We’re incredibly proud of this. On the back of Richie’s erudite reviews, here, he gives us a glimpse into his life lived both literary and not.
From Newcastle to Inkwell, worlds both fantastical and equatorial, this is Richard ‘Richie’ McAndrew.

I am Richard ‘Richie’ McAndrew, administrator and dreamer perplexed by the world. Born in 1962, within 500 metres of St James Park, home of Newcastle United, I had the good fortune of a good education. I guess my History teacher, Mr Rinaldi, is responsible for my interest in writing and serious reading. In those days education was about expanding your mind, developing as an individual, but this has felt like a double edged sword at times: ignorance is bliss has it’s appeal.

The first books that grabbed my attention were by the science-fiction author, Michael Moorcock. The rise of the National Front then pushed me to engage with the political world. Victor Serge inspired me through his fight for the working class in the times of the Russian revolution, still maintaining his socialist principles as the revolution failed: he put humanity and the individual at centre stage. Ngugi wa Thiong’o would later introduce me to the world of magical realism. From Africa, I journeyed to the worlds of South America and Asia through literature and further landmarks on my reading journey include John Steinbeck, Emile Zola, Primo Levi, and Alex Haley amongst others.

My experience of groups is not always positive but Inkwell Readers Group is an exception…

Communication by spoken and written word are so, so different. In both there is a dialogue. We talk and in books there is a discourse between reader and author. After all, a good book is packed full of the author’s experience and interpretation of life. Reading allows me to take onboard new ideas, even the disagreeable. With a book I have plenty of time to consider explanations, validity, motives, context and reason. Whereas when we converse, our ego creates a fog within which reason is lost.