Thursday, March 26, 2009

About 'In Spring it is the Dawn'

About Me:

I'm a Canadian currently living in Japan with my husband and our two cats. A long-term ex-pat, I've now lived in Japan for about 8 years on and off, as well as a 3 1/2 year stint in England. When asked about my hobbies, I always say reading and taking photos. I love my digital SLR camera, and am almost never without a book nearby. So when I'm not teaching English, you can usually find me curled up with a book, out taking photos somewhere, or blogging about one or the other.

Other places you can find me:
Twitter - @inspringthedawn
BookBlogs on Ning - tanabata
Aminus3 (my photoblog) - bisha photoblog
Zazzle (my photo gallery) - bisha photography

About the Blog:

I started this blog in January 2006 as a way to keep track of what I read, and to hopefully connect with other book lovers. Every book I read is mentioned and reviewed here, plus I also participate in a few weekly memes, mostly book related, when the mood strikes, and post some of my photos here.

I chose for its name, In Spring it is the Dawn, which is the first line of The Pillow Book by Sei Shōnagon. Why? Because of the Japanese connection, and simply because I thought it was pretty, but I also like to think that if she were alive today, Sei Shōnagon would write some fantastic, witty, ranty blog posts! Ones that I can only aspire to.

Authors, publishers and publicists:

I am a bit selective about the books I agree to review, but I welcome your enquiries. I'm especially tempted by Japanese literature or fiction set in Japan (see the Reading Japan tab above for more) but I read a fairly wide variety of books, and enjoy literary fiction, literature in translation, contemporary fiction, historical fiction, crime fiction, YA, fantasy, the occasional non-fiction, and some other genres, so it never hurts to ask. I try to respond to most enquiries but sometimes it's not possible. However, even if I have declined, or failed to respond, before, it doesn't mean I won't be interested in other titles, so please feel free to contact me again. You can see a list of all the books I've read since starting this blog in January 2006 in my Author Index.

Mood often rearranges my reading schedule but I try to read the books I've received within a few months. (I am currently a little behind but plan to read and review the remaining ones I have on hand over the next couple of months). If you have a certain time frame in mind, like for new releases, please let me know, and we can work something out. I'm also happy to participate in blog tours, host giveaways, guest posts or author interviews.

Book reviews reflect my personal opinion and are purely subjective. Accepting a book for review does not guarantee a positive review, but I will always try to be honest and fair about what I either did or didn't like about the book. Not everyone has the same taste, thank goodness. Reviews are also spoiler free unless otherwise noted.

Once I have read a book, if I don't plan to keep it, I will most likely offer it up for a giveaway on my blog. I have yet to join BookMooch, or a similar book swapping site, but that may be an option in the future. If you have any conditions regarding the passing on of the book, just let me know and I'll honour your wishes. 

I'm not a big fan of reading a book on my computer screen, and I don't currently have an e-reader. Although if anyone would like to send me an e-reader, I'd happily make your books my top priority! ;)
I will accept the occasional e-book though as long as I can print it out, and it has to be something that I really want to read! 
Update:  As of October 2009, I am now the happy owner of an iPhone on which I am using the Stanza application for reading e-books.  If you would like to propose an e-book title to me, please note that I will only consider those in the supported formats.

If you have a book you would like me to consider, keeping in mind the fact that it will involve international shipping to Japan, you can contact me at: inspringthedawn (at) gmail (dot) com, or by using the Contact Form.

If you have already sent me a book and would like to check its status, or to see a list of previously reviewed books, click on the following link: Review Books.

A few stats: (as of September 2009)

Google Page Rank: Page Ranking Tool
2500+ page views per month
280+ feed subscribers

Review disclaimer:

The books I read come from a variety of sources, many of them purchased myself. For books that have been received for free, expressly for review purposes, I always include a thank you in the review, and as of November 2009, I will include a brief disclaimer on the relevant blog post.  However, whatever the source, it does not affect the content of my review.

Book blurbs are copied from the back cover, the dust jacket flap, or the publisher's website.

Links to Amazon or The Book Depository, including cover images and titles (other than those that link to my own reviews) contain my Amazon Associates ID, or my Book Depository Affiliates ID. Any purchases made via these links earn me a very small commission.  There is no extra cost to the buyer.  Any money raised in this way will go towards offsetting giveaways and the associated postage costs here on the blog.  To date, I have spent considerably more than I have received in compensation.  If you have any questions regarding this, please feel free to contact me.    

Review policy:
(as started by Dewey for Weekly Geeks)

If you've reviewed any of the same books that I have, let me know via email or comments and I'll add your link to my review. You can check which books I've read in this Author Index, or in the tabs above.

If you have any questions, I'd love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me by email: inspringthedawn (at) gmail (dot) com, or by using the Contact Form.