Below are the six books from this past year of publishing that really excited me. They were all filled with top-notch writing, intrigue, and the unexpected. They all inspire me as a reader and as a writer. Mary MacLane will invigorate you with her angst in 1901 Montana and how she pines for the Devil’s arrival, Neil Gaiman tumbles you into a world that doesn’t exist as it first appears, Fiona McFarlane will have you doubting everything, really, and you’ll love it, every bite Herman Koch’s characters take will have you on edge, Ian Flitcroft will have you savoring every witty line and considering membership to the Shadow Faculty of Gastronomic Science, and you will fly off to a mysterious jungle to search for lost tribes with Hanya Yanagihara. Wondering what your next read should be? Definitely one of these six.