April Custer

April Custer has 3 articles published.

has worn many hats, including Western figurine painter, rustic bread baker, and 3rd grade teacher. She currently works in the world’s largest independent new and used bookstore and lives in Portland, Oregon. April shares her home, and love of Skee-Ball, with her two extraordinarily energetic children, handlebar mustachioed husband, a geriatric pug dog, and two high-priced rescue cats. When she’s not busy ignoring dust bunnies April can be found reading and writing.

A conversation across the Pacific in Ruth Ozeki’s A TALE FOR THE TIME BEING

in Fiction by

I’m not going to be coy here: I loved Ruth Ozeki’s newest book, A Tale for the Time Being (Viking, 2013). Ozeki writes herself into a complex and rich novel by imagining many what ifs: What if I found a 16-year-old girl’s diary washed up on the beach in British Columbia? What if Nao wrote the diary in Japan, her parent’s country, only she is horrifically bullied because she doesn’t fit in after growing up in Silicon Valley? What if her diary seemed to be her last words as both she and her father contemplate committing suicide? What if “Ruth” couldn’t find any trace of her on the Internet or corroborate her actual existence, but felt compelled to try to…

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The Hunger Games sparks a rebellion on Black Friday

in Potpourri by

Black Friday is fast approaching. While the ambitious and sale-savvy among us hit malls mid-November, some of us will be focused instead on literature and film. And by that I mean we will be in line to see the latest Hunger Games movie, Catching Fire, out in theaters November 22nd and already breaking box office records for a November release. The film is based on Suzanne Collins’s second installment, published in 2009 by Scholastic, in her Hunger Games trilogy. With these books, Collins writes fast-paced, page-turning action that propels readers through her version of the classic hero’s journey. Heroine Katniss Everdeen narrates her story and readers are pulled into her gritty, adrenalin-filled fight for survival. There are many readers who…

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NaNoWriMo – More than scarves and gluttony

in Non-Fiction by

Aside from scarves and gluttony, what does November have in store for you?  Perhaps you’ve heard that it’s National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo, as it’s affectionately called by the initiated, is now in its 14th year. The goal for participants is to write a 50,000-word novel, from scratch, in the 30 days of November. Last year, over 341,000 people participated all over the world (the designation of “national” seems to be arbitrary). These intrepid writers come from a variety of backgrounds, from published authors to first-time novelists. Why do so many people sign up for the event? Reasons vary, of course, but one major attraction is having the pressure of a deadline. There is nothing like a deadline for motivation,…

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