Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Salon: Blogiversary

When I started this blog back in 2006 I never imagined that a few years later I'd still be at it, and that I'd be quite so addicted to it, but here we are. Today, January 31st, In Spring it is the Dawn is 4 years old! I originally started this blog simply as a place to keep track of the books I read, like a reading log, and also to post some photos as we'd moved back to Japan the previous fall and taking pictures had become a minor hobby.

I think the blog has changed quite a lot from those early days. There are more words and less photos lately, although I hope to have more photo opportunities this year. I only got occasional comments then and was so excited whenever I did get one. I get a few more comments now but I do still get excited about each and every one. I'm enjoying the bigger focus on Japanese literature now, and sharing those discoveries with you. During this last year I started to get occasional offers of books to review, and last spring I also changed over to my own domain name So I feel like this little blog has grown up a bit, thanks to all of you!

I especially appreciate you for sticking with me recently. I haven't been a very good blogger over the last couple of months, and I miss reading your wonderful blogs on a regular basis. The fact that you still stop by really means so much to me, and my neglect will not be forever. I promise!

Despite this, several of you have even passed on blog awards over the last little while, and I have been very remiss in thanking you here. So a very big thank you for the following:

The Superior Scribbler Award from Harvee at Book Dilettante.

The Kreativ Blogger Award from Natakiya at Bento Anarchy.

The One Lovely Blog Award AND the Heartfelt Award from Velvet at vvB32 Reads.

The Santa Clause award (oops, not very timely, sorry) from mariel at where troubles melt like lemon drops, and this was her reason: for constantly inspiring me to learn Japanese!

The One Lovely Blog Award also from Karen at BookBath. Karen had these kinds words to say: A lovely blog for many reasons but particularly for its focus on Japan (one of my favourite countries) and its literature.

The Happy 101 Award from Esme at Chocolate & Croissants.


Thank you, thank you, thank you! I hope I haven't missed anyone. I'm going to be rebellious and not follow the rules associated with these awards but I'm so honoured that you consider my little ol' blog worth reading. You know, I sometimes feel like I don't entirely fit in to the book blogging community but your kindness really warms my heart. I can't thank you enough.

So to celebrate 4 years of reading and blogging, and to thank you for always motivating me to keep going, I think a blogiversary giveaway is in order. I'm going to give you a chance to win any book that I've read over the last 4 years since starting this blog. You can see which books I've read by year.
Books Read in 2009
Books Read in 2008
Books Read in 2007
Books Read in 2006
or you can see the complete list of all titles in the Author Index.

*To enter, simply leave a comment on this post saying which book you'd like to win. It must be a book on one of the above lists.
*One winner will be selected at random on Sunday, February 7th.
*Please make sure that I have a way to contact you if you win.
*The giveaway is open worldwide.
*The winner will either receive the book directly from The Book Depository or from me, depending on the winner's country of residence.
*I don't think there should be any but if the book chosen now happens to be out of print, the winner will have the option to choose another title.
*If you have any other questions, please let me know. Good luck!

This giveaway is now closed, and the winner has been notified.  
Congratulations to Mark David!

As for what I'm reading, I finished 31 Hours by Masha Hamilton a couple of days ago and I'm still thinking about it! And now I'm just about to start reading volume 3 of I Am a Cat for the Japanese Literature Read-along discussion that will start on February 15th.
And speaking of Japanese literature, a reminder that we'll be starting our leisurely read-along of The Pillowbook of Sei Sh┼Źnagon this coming Friday, February 5th. For this week, we'll be looking at the first 10 entries. Anyone is welcome to join in. For more information about translations, etc. please refer to the Japanese Literature Read-along page.

Have a great week!

The small print: Links in this post to Amazon or The Book Depository contain my Associates or Affiliates ID respectively.  Purchases made via these links earn me a very small commission.  For more information visit my About Page.


  1. Happy Blogiversary! 4 years is amazing! I think it's great to look back and reflect on how far blogging has taken you.

    I would love to win French Milk. I see everyone talking about it.I hope you're doing something for you to celebrate. Maybe a day full of reading? ;)

  2. Congratulations on the anniversary of your blog! I've enjoyed reading it.

  3. Tanabata, you're doing a wonderful job. You're blog is addictive, I just keep coming back. I love your posts, they're always very interesting and worth reading. Keep up the good work! 'Cause reading blogs wouldn't be the same without you.
    I'd like to enter for Akinari Ueda - Tales of moonlight and rain
    (Which, by the way, I wouldn't have known without you)


  4. Happy Blogiversery! I had no idea that you've had such a long run, nor did I know the history of your blog. It's always fun to learn those things. I think I started reading your blog during Bloggiesta, so I'm fairly new to it here.

    I look forward to reading more :-)

  5. Oh!

    Happy blogiversary to you,
    Happy blogiversary to you,
    Happy blogiversary, dear tanabata,
    Happy blogiversary to you!

    It is wonderful that you are celebrating your 4th anniversary already :-) Also, enjoy your current books, I hope to read them myself this year.

    As for your giveaway, should I be lucky, I'd be really interested in reading Paprika by Yasutaka Tsutsui :-)

    You can reach me either by replying by mail to my comment, if you get all comments to your e-mail account, or by writing to dreamworldofabookaholic AT googlemail DOT com

  6. 4 years?!? That's awesome! I guess that's why you seem to always have it so together over here.
    I would love to be entered in your Blogiversary Giveaway!
    It's so hard to pick, though, since you've read so many awesome books.
    I guess I would go with Paprika by Yasutaka Tsutsui..


  7. Congratulations on four years of blogging tanabata!

    I'd love to be entered in your giveaway, if I won I'd like Julie Orringer's How to breathe underwater which I've been meaning to read since reading about it in The Complete Polysyllabic Spree.

  8. I'm not entering the giveaway, just wanted to say congratulations! wow 4 years, that's amazing and I really enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to many more reviews and informative posts about Japan :)

  9. Happy blogiversary, tanabata!

    I'd love to enter for Kawabata's The Old Capital, please, thanks. :)

  10. Happy bloggiversary! I started my book blog in 2007 and it's hard to believe sometimes that I'm still here years later too.

    From your list at the moment, I'd love Elephant Vanishes by Murakami :)

  11. Congratulations on four years of blogging! That is a fantastic acheivement! I have only been following you for a short time, but I am always impressed by the quality of your blog. I look forward to following you for many years to come.

    If I was lucky enough to win your competition then I'd love . In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. I have a feeling it could be one of my all time favourites, but need to read it to find out!

  12. Congratulations on your anniversary! Please enter me for Tears of the Desert from your 2009 reading list.

    theroundfile at live dot com

  13. Congratulations on your blogiversary! You've been a great source of Japanese literature choices. =)

    If I win the draw for the giveaway, I'd love to get a copy of Mineko Iwasaki's Geisha of Gion.

    You can reach me at mich_yms[at]hotmail[dot]com.

  14. Four years! Wow! :) Conratulations!

    For the giveaway, I would love to get The Secret Lives of People in Love by Simon Van Booy. I've always wanted to read something of his, and your review made this wanting more urgent.

    Here's to another year! Cheers!


  15. I can't believe it's been four years already! Congrats, Nat!! I had fun perusing your lists and had a tough time deciding which book to pick if I were to win. I think I'll go with Last Night in Montreal since it's Canadian. I've been wanting to read it ever since you blogged about it.

    Happy Blogiversary, dear friend! I may not always comment, but I check in here at least 2-3 times a week.

  16. No need to enter me in the giveaway (have you SEEN my TBR bookcases?), but Happy Blogiversary to you! Four years is a long time of blogging, and you've really made a place for yourself. Here's to the next four!

  17. Happy anniversary :) I've never had an anniversary of my book blog (I don't even remember its birthdate), but this idea of giving books away is awesome. How do you do that? I mean, does the publisher offer to send the books just like that, for free?

    Anyway, I would love to win 'The Sandman: Endless Nights' - by Neil Gaiman.

  18. Congratulations! Four years! Zowie!

    If I were lucky enough to win your contest, I would ask to read the best book with which you are willing to part! I'm always interested in others' favorites.

    Here's my contact info:
    debnance at gmail dot com

    Take care!

  19. Congratulations on your bloggiversary! It's always a delight to stop in and I do hope you'll share more of your beautiful pics.

    Thank you for the giveaway and I'd like to throw in my name for "Beyond the Blossoming Fields".

    Wishing you many more bloggiversaries!

  20. Happy Bloggiversary, Nat! And many mooooore.

    I'll let someone else win a book from you; I have plenty. :)

  21. Happy Blogiversary! Congrats on 4 years!

  22. Four years ... how fantastic! I love your reviews and your contributions to the blogging community. And thank you for introducing me to Japanese fiction!

  23. Congrats and Happy Blogiversary! I enjoy reading your blog so keep those posts coming!

    I'd love to win a copy of Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi.

  24. Oh, how wonderful! Happy blogiversary to you :) Four years! It's such a long time and I've enjoyed following your blog immensely!

    If I were to win (how fab would that be?!) I would love a copy of .. oh, I don't know. I feel like I should choose a Japanese book of some sort, so The Makioka Sisters! 'Austenesque' sounds very interesting :) And what a wonderful and generous giveaway.

  25. Happy Blogiversary!

    You should know that you've made me enjoy Japanese Literature even more (and for meeting you, I thank the JLC3). And I can say that you have certainly been instrumental in raising awareness and appreciation for all things Japanese. Really, we all thank you!

    About your giveaway, the book which you've reviewed that really caught my interest is Paprika, so if it should be so then that's the book I'll choose :)

  26. No need to enter me into the drawing; I just want to wish you a very happy 4 years! I was so thrilled when you started a blog because I always enjoyed seeing my Yahoo! Groups buddies filter into the blogosphere. Yours is always one of my faves, and cheers to the next four years!

  27. Congratulations on 4 years! Wow.

  28. Congratulations! I've enjoyed your blog so much through the years, and now I have another reason to be interested in where you are living, as my son will be living in Japan, working as an ALT, starting in late March, for at least a year.

    There are so many good titles to choose from, but in keeping with my son's move, please enter my hopeful choice as "A Year in Japan" by Kate Williamson.

    Thanks for all you do!

  29. Happy blogiversary! Mine was a couple weeks ago, but only two years old compared to yours.

    I know I don't really need more books -- and so many of the ones you've reviewed look so interesting -- but in the off chance I win the drawing, I'd be interested in "Beyond the Blossoming Fields" by Junichi Watanabe. This historical fiction about the first woman doctor in Japan really grabbed my interest.

  30. Happy, happy bloggiversary, Nat! Your blog's one of my very favourites - here's to many more years.

    No need to enter me in the giveaway, what with the looming tbr pile I already have :P

  31. Happy blogiversary!

    I am so pleased that I discovered your blog and enjoy the changes that were implemented last year; above all I am loving the Japanese literature read-alongs.

    Like Vasilly I would love to be entered to win a copy of French Milk please/

  32. Congratulations! No need to enter me for the contest but wanted to let you know that I really enjoy your blog - your book reviews as well as your photos and posts about living in Japan.

  33. Congrats on your Blogiversary :-)

  34. I'm late, but HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY! I would have to double-check, but I am pretty sure I have been reading you pretty much the entire time you have been blogging. :) You are totally one of my favourite blogs, even if I suck at commenting in a timely manner! To many more years!

  35. just wanted to wish you a happy blogoversary! i've just met your blog last year and really like what i've been reading. hey, i'm looking forward to joining in the pillow book discussions. i've been reading it on and off since last month.

  36. Thank you everyone for your wonderfully kind comments. It really means a lot to me!

    And thank you to those that entered my giveaway. I'm sorry I couldn't give each of you the book you want, but for this time the winner has been selected and notified.

    Vasilly - Thanks! My blog has changed a lot from when I first started it 4 years ago, and is still changing. A day full of reading sounds pretty great. I haven't had a chance yet, but hopefully soon. :)

    Thanks Harvee!

    Tineke Schaap - Aw, thank you so much! Hearing that just makes my day! :)

    thekoolaidmom - I'm kind of surprised how long it's been myself! :)

    Kathrin - LOL. Thank you! :)

    brizmus - Haha. Well I'm glad I at least seem together even though I'm not really! ;)

    Sarah - It's thanks to The Polysyllabic Spree that I first read How To Breathe Underwater! I'm so excited that she will finally have a novel out later this year.

    Thank you MissAttitude! :)

    Thanks claire!

    mee - It's amazing how the time has flown by! :)

    Jackie - Thank you so much. I hope to keep blogging for many years to come and live up to your expectations. :)

    Just Mom - Thanks. Tears of the Desert is a great read. I hope you'll get a chance to read it sometime.

  37. Michelle - Thanks! I'm still discovering Japanese literature myself but am glad to have been able to share some of it. :)

    Thanks Sasha! The Secret Lives of People in Love was great! I really need to get his second book of stories.

    Les - I know! Where does the time go, eh? But thank you, I really appreciate your continued friendship. :)
    Last Night in Montreal was a very good read. I'm looking forward to her new book coming out soon.

    Florinda - Haha. I can definitely relate to overflowing bookcases! Thanks!

    mina - I started the blog on the last day of January so it's pretty easy to remember.
    About the giveaways, this one is all me, as are most of my giveaways. I'll be sending the winner a copy of the book they chose. Occasionally though, like for my recent giveaway of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, the publisher offers to sponsor a giveaway. In that case it was because I took part in the blog tour for the book, so the publisher had the same offer for all the participants. For them, it's advertising. :)

    readerbuzz - Zowie is right! Unfortunately you didn't win but I think I would've had a hard time choosing if you had. :P

    Iliana - Thank you! Yes, I miss taking pictures more regularly. Lots of cold, lousy weather hasn't helped this winter, but I'm very much looking forward to spring!

    Thanks Nancy! Really? You couldn't use another book!? ;)

    Thank you Pam and Teddy Rose!

    Kristen M. - You're very welcome! I'm glad you're starting to discover Japanese literature. :)

    Melody - Thanks! I'll do my best! :)

  38. Thank you Clover! :)
    The Makioka Sisters is a lovely book. I'm looking forward to re-reading it later this year for the JLit Read-along.

    Mark David - Aw, thank you! You're very kind. And I'm so thrilled your number came up in the draw. I hope you enjoy Paprika! :)

    Thanks Andi! Ah the good ol' Yahoo Groups days! I'm sure I have you to blame/thank for inspiring me to start the blog in the first place. :)

    Thanks KyleeJ!

    Teresa - Thanks, and congratulations to your son! Does he already know where he'll be placed? I think you'll have to come visit while he's here. :)

    Valerie - Thank you and Happy belated blogiversary to you too! I really enjoyed Beyond the Blossoming Fields and hope you get a chance to read it someday.

    Nymeth - Thank you!! You know yours is one of my favourites too, even though I've been terrible at visiting and commenting lately. :)

    Thanks Chris!

    Claire (Paperback Reader) - Thanks! I'm so glad you're enjoying the read-alongs and really appreciate you joining in. I look forward to discussing more JLit with you.

    Moo - Thank you! Your kinds words mean a lot!

    Thanks Janet!

    Kelly - I think you probably were there from near the beginning. I've been lousy at reading and commenting lately too so I understand. Thanks though! :)

    Velvet - Thanks! I'm glad you found my blog and I'm looking forward to chatting about The Pillow Book with you.


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