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Reading Ahead

Andy McNab

Hello, I am Andy Mcnab. A former soldier and now a novelist. When I joined the army out of juvenile detention at the age of 16 I could barely read and write. The army changed that and I will always be grateful for that. Education changed my life, there is no doubt about it. Everyone deserves the opportunity to make the most out of their life, and education is vital.

Tell us about a time that reading had a positive impact on you.

Touching the Void by Joe Simpson was the book that taught me the foundations for writing. It made me understand the importance of providing texture, description and authenticity. Anyone can write a linear story but to add a sense of place, that is what draws the reader in. In Touching the Void, a story of a mountaineering disaster, Joe Simpson makes you feel just what he was feeling – cold, lonely and scared.

What do you love about reading?

Reading gives you power to do what you want to do in life. It teaches you so much – whether its other perspectives, skills, how to escape from life for a while…

Can you recommend a read to our Reading Ahead participants?

During this year’s lockdowns, I have been learning to cook better and following recipes! I have made bread, Christmas cake, banana and walnut cake… you name it! I have been reading recipes from cookbooks but also on the BBC website, there are so many recipes on there including the best recipe ever for toad in the hole!

I am not that good at it yet, but I’m working on it.

Read a book by Andy:

Other Ambassadors

Image credit – Neil Spence


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