With the new year comes a wide range of brand new books, and people everywhere are desperate to read the latest title from their favourite author, the next instalment in the series they love,  or to simply explore the world of literature.

However, the rise of non-fiction and self-help books has been remarkable as of late, as people become more aware of their health and mental state and look to find information which could help them along their journey to a healthier and happier life, by making positive changes.

Rutger Bruining is the CEO of StoryTerrace, a biography-writing service that connects everyday people with professional ghostwriters, so that they can enjoy their very own biography or full-length memoirs. Rutger shares 5 of the most anticipated books that are set to make a splash this year and help people to take more control of their lives for the better, and discusses the myriad benefits of documenting your own life story.

The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind (Jonah Berger)

This title will help you to understand and potentially harness the power of the “catalyst” – the person who makes the difference and initiates real change to influence people, often in the most difficult scenarios. Learn the skills of top salespeople, leaders, activists, hostage negotiators and counsellors, and how they use these skills to their advantage to influence the decisions of others and achieve incredible things.

Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives (Daniel J. Levitin)

Successful Aging encourages us to completely change our perspectives on the notion of growing older and what the later decades of our life are likely to bring. In an age where our life expectancy is only set to rise, Daniel Levitin provides a new way of approaching the aging process to get the most out of our longer lives.

Don’t Overthink It: Make Easier Decisions, Stop Second-Guessing, and Bring More Joy to Your Life (Anne Bogel)

Arguably one of the most useful and pertinent books in today’s culture, especially for younger generations, Don’t Overthink It provides an approach to being more decisive, deciding how and where to direct your energy and focus, and being more objective in making choices which will help you to spend more time enjoying and revelling in the important things in life.

You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters (Kate Murphy)

Kate Murphy is a longtime journalist who has written for The New York Times and The Economist. In You’re Not Listening, Kate shares examples from conversations across her career with people from all walks of life;  secret service agents, bartenders, CEOs and toddlers, to explain how the art of listening and paying attention can truly make a huge difference in your life and your chances of success.

The Lady’s Handbook for her Mysterious Illness (Sarah Ramey)

Unlike the other books on this list, The Lady’s Handbook is a memoir of Sarah Ramey’s experiences contending with a mysterious illness, and her attempts to discover the ailment that she was suffering from that had stumped doctors for years. The memoir discusses how many of today’s illnesses are born from our environment, and educate the reader on how the cornerstones of our health, (diet, sleep, exercise, work and social interactions) can interact to have adverse effects on how we feel.

“With the almost limitless access to information that we have in today’s world, we are arguably more aware as a society than ever before, both in terms of wider social issues, and our own health on an individual basis. It’s great to see that authors are noticing this trend, and producing books which provide ideas and information to help people eager to improve themselves and lead better lives on their journey. However, if you’re somebody who recognises the benefits of such books, perhaps the best book you could read this year is the story of your OWN life or one of your older relatives.  

One thing that few of us consider is the power within the lessons and experiences that we can take from our own personal stories. Looking into your past; the highs, the lows, the failures and successes; can often provide you with a great many lessons and knowledge to take forward with you, if you truly pay attention. What’s more, these lessons can be invaluable for those around you, particularly younger generations of your family, to bring them closer to you and to help them learn from the experiences you have enjoyed or endured.”