I'm a Canadian currently living in sunny San Diego, CA with my husband and our two silly cats. A long-term ex-pat, I lived in Japan for about 11 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'm a complete amateur but 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
In Spring it is the Dawn on Facebook
Haruki Murakami Reading Challenge
South Pacific Book Chat
Book Bloggers Abroad (Guest Post on Leeswammes' Blog)

Currently on hiatus:
watashi no shashin (my photoblog)

bisha photoblog (my 'old' photoblog)

About the Blog:

Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2009

Shortlisted for Best Cultural Review Blog in 2009.
Longlisted for Best Cultural Review Blog in 2010.

I started this blog in January 2006 as a way to keep track of what I read, and to connect with other book lovers. When asked to describe my blog, I usually say it is a general book blog with a focus on Japan and Japanese literature. General, because any book I read may be mentioned or reviewed here, and I have a pretty eclectic taste. However, living in Japan made me want to read and know more about this place that I called home for many years. To that end, I set myself a personal project to read more Japanese literature, and the blog has evolved to reflect this. You can see many of the related books I've read by visiting the Reading Japan Page in the linkbar above.

I chose for the name of the blog, In Spring it is the Dawn, which is the first line of The Pillow Book by Sei Shōnagon. Why? Because of the Japanese bookish connection, and simply because I thought it had a nice ring to it, but mostly 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.

Continuing with the growing focus on Japanese literature, in late 2009, I started some regular Japanese-related features here on In Spring it is the Dawn. A Japanese Literature Book Group to read and discuss books by Japanese authors with others, as well as the Hello Japan! mini-challenge, with monthly topics on various aspects of Japanese literature or culture. In addition, I also sometimes post photos or other topics relating to life in Japan.

Since January 2011, I also host on its own blog the Haruki Murakami Reading Challenge. And from August 2010 to December 2011, I co-hosted a weekly Twitter book chat, South Pacific Book Chat. Click on any of the links above for more information.

Authors, publishers and publicists:

NOTE: (updated January 2013)
I am not accepting any new books for review at this time, except by special arrangement. I have just started blogging again after several months off after we moved and settled into our new home in California. Even before that, other life events, such as the devastating earthquake and tsunami that occurred in Japan in 2011 kept me from reading, or blogging regularly, for quite some time. Unfortunately, this means that I fell very far behind in my reading commitments. My sincere apologies if you sent me a book to review during this time. I will still try to work through this backlog of books, and if you are still waiting for a review, please feel free to get in touch. I look forward to working with you again in the future.

I am a bit selective about the books I agree to review, but I welcome your enquiries. As I mentioned above I'm especially interested in Japanese literature or fiction set in Japan (see the Reading Japan Page for more), plus I also have a soft spot for Canadian authors, and any literature in translation. However, I do read a fairly wide variety of books. I enjoy Literary fiction, Contemporary fiction, Historical fiction, Crime fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy, the occasional Non-fiction, and some other genres, so it never hurts to ask. Although I should also say that I rarely read self-help/inspirational, romance, or westerns. I try to respond to most enquiries but it's just not always feasible. However, even if I have previously declined, or failed to respond, it doesn't mean I won't be interested in other titles, so please feel free to contact me again.

Mood often rearranges my reading schedule but I try to read the books I've received within a couple of months. If you have a certain time frame in mind, especially for new releases, please let me know, and we can work something out. I'm also happy to participate in blog tours, host giveaways, and I welcome guest posts, especially if the topic is somehow related to Japan or Japanese literature.

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

If you would like to see a list of previously reviewed books, please visit the Reviews Page in the linkbar above.

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. If you have any conditions regarding the passing on of the book, just let me know and I'll honour your wishes.

I am happy to accept e-galleys.
If you have a book you would like me to consider, you can contact me at: inspringthedawn AT gmail DOT com, or by using the Contact Form.

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 mention in the review, and as of November 2009, I also include a brief disclaimer on all relevant blog posts. However, whatever the source of a book, it does not affect the content or tone of my review.

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

Affiliate links
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, and hosting fees for 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 via the Reviews Page 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.