Ask me tomorrow and I might change my mind, but at the moment, these are my three favorite books that I read in 2010. I chose each one for a different reason.

1. A Madness of Angels: Or The Resurrection of Matthew Swift by Kate Griffin. This is a fantasy novel, and urban fantasy in the truest sense because the magic is drawn from the city. It reminds me of the comic Hellblazer in some ways, but it’s more wondrous, deeper and richer, and in the end much more hopeful. Griffin, who writes YA under another name, has a prose style that dragged me in from the first page and kept me deeply ensconced in the world she created for 640 pages. I read this book very slowly, which for me is unusual, because I felt it was worth savoring. And I’m ready to read the sequel.

2. Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold is the latest in a long series, and I don’t recommend you read it until you’ve read all the other books in the Vorkosigan saga first. (Go do that now; I’ll wait!) But if you are familiar with that series; if you’ve read those books over and over, lived with the characters, discussed them with friends, waited with pained desperation for the next one to come out? Then this book will rip out your heart.

3. Mammoths: Giants of the Ice Age is the most fun research book I’ve read in quite a while, possibly because I didn’t have to read it, and partly because it is just awesome.

It is so awesome I cannot tell you. It’s pretty up-to-date (I had a revised edition) and made me want to hunt all over the internet for more information on some of the newer finds it mentions so casually. I’ve always been fascinated by mammoths. I mean, for mammoths we have actual freeze-dried corpses with preserved blood cells. How cool is that?

What are your favorite reads of the year?