1. What are the three best books you've read this year?
Oh god, I have read so many books this year. This is tough. If I have to just pick three, my top three are:
1. Teach Me, by R. A. Nelson: a girl falls in love with her English teacher, only to have him break her heart. In a word, this book is stunning. Simply stunning. The prose is tight and beautiful and every page is full of tension. I felt every moment of Nine's heartbreak and fury.
2. Wintergirls, by Laurie Halse Anderson: this is about a girl's battle with anorexia, and another one for the intense and searingly beautiful category. Anderson's character building is remarkable: Lia is not simply a Tragic Anorexia Victim, but a person in her own right, a girl who loves reading fantasy fiction and is fiercely protective of her younger sister. I loved the way Anderson plays with the text, like sections with cross outs which show even more the battleground inside Lia's head, as she even tries to edit her own thoughts.
3. Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow: I'm not usually a thriller person, and I'm definitely not usually a technology person, but I loved this. Seventeen year old Marcus uses technology to fight against the Department of Homeland Security when their methods of providing security become increasingly extreme. This book raises some fascinating questions about civil rights, but also it moves breathtakingly fast. And the computer stuff is just, well, cool.
Highly honourable Mentions:
Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater.
Ink Exchange, by Melissa Marr.
The Mortal Instruments series, by Cassandra Clare.
Dreaming of Amelia, by Jaclyn Moriarty. (For my American friends: the US edition of this will be called The Ghosts of Ashbury High, and it's coming out next June, so keep an eye out for it.)
2. If you could meet one author living or dead, who would it be?
To be honest, I've met a few of my favourite authors at events and book signings, and the whole thing isn't nearly as good as it's cracked up to be. Not because they weren't nice (they were all lovely actually), but because I tend to babble hopelessly whenever I meet authors I am in love with, and they probably go away remembering me as The Fan With The Long Hair Who Was A Bit Weird In The Head. If they remember me at all.
So. If I could meet any living author, I'd love to meet Ursula Le Guin, Philip Pullman, or John Green. And if I can meet any dead authors, I'd like to meet Jane Austen or Oscar Wilde. I can't pick one of those people, I seriously can't. You pick one for me. Or better yet, let me hold some kind of dinner party where I get to invite them all. If you let me get away with the dinner party option, you can come too. Then we can all drink wine and talk late into the night about fascinating things.
3. What book are you most looking forward to in 2010?
That's easy. The Piper's Son, by Melina Marchetta. No idea when it's coming out in the US (sorry!), but it's coming out in Australasia in March. All the characters in Saving Francesca feel like friends of mine, I've read it that many times. I'm really looking forward to hanging out with them all again.