10 Beloved Books of 2010

Graffiti Moon, Cath CrowleyI think this is my favourite Australian book to come out last year. It's a word-perfect one-night-in-Melbourne romance with art, grafitti, mistaken identity and just the right balance of comedy to pathos. Beautiful.

The Sky is Everywhere, Jandy Nelson I didn't read The Sky Is Everywhere for ages, because I was a bit put off by the blue-ink-diary-meets-funky-Bible production of it. But then I inhaled it on a plane and cried on Michael's shoulder and clutched him tight. Summery, flowery, musical romance. Gorgeous.

Teenage, Jon Savage This is the only non-fiction book, and also the only non-YA. It's a prehistory of teenagers, from the late 19th century to the 1950s. Utterly fascinating and will be of great use for my research this year.

Six Impossible Things, Fiona Wood Another one I didn't get around to reading for ages, and then devoured and loved. I think my favourite part is the bitter newly-single mum who starts a wedding-cake business, but turns all her potential clients off marriage. Genius.

Guardian of the Dead, Karen Healey My favourite kind of fantasy is when magic permeates the real world in subtle and interesting (and sometimes violent) ways. Guardian does just that, weaving Maori mythology (and other kinds) into contemporary New Zealand life, where it mingles with teen drama, humour and romance.

This is Shyness, Leanne Hall How could I not love a book about a secret suburb somewhere near Collingwood and Fitzroy, where the sun never comes up, and sugar-addicted kids and creepy monkeys roam around abandoned housing commission flats?

White Cat, Holly Black Curse-working was banned along with alcohol during the Prohibition years in the US. And it's still banned. People wear gloves to protect their hands from curses. Throw in some good old fashioned cons, some confusing dreams and a memory that doesn't seem quite right, and you have one Lili eagerly awaiting Book Two.

When You Reach Me, Rebecca Stead One of those books that is made so mind-blowingly profound by its conclusion, that you have to immediately turn back to page one and read the whole thing again. New York, secret messages, a beautiful homage to Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle In Time, and some of the most thought-provoking, deceptively simple, philosophical writing I've ever come across.

Three Loves of Persimmon, Cassandra Golds Cassandra Golds is yet to write a book that I didn't adore. This one is no exception. She returns to the vibrant and delicate world of mice in this novel - mice, heartbreak, cabbage-roses, trains, theatre and love.

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, Rachel Cohn & David Levithan In the vein of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, this back-and-forth novel has all my favourite things: New York, second-hand bookstores, romance, humour and Christmas. An absolute delight.

In 2010 I also reread nearly everything ever written by LM Montgomery, because I went on a bender and couldn't stop. I met Emily of New Moon for the first time and possibly love her more than Anne Shirley. And then I couldn't stop, and had to read everything. I adored every single word, with the possible exception of Kilmeny of the Orchard which I found a bit creepy.

(Also, for the record, my top films of the year were Toy Story 3, Easy A, Scott Pilgrim and The Social Network. In that order.)

What were your favourite reads of 2010?