New years bring new challenges. Given 2019's accelerated pace thus far, the trials you face this year may be your toughest yet.

What's a business to do when consumers trust strangers online more than brands they know? How can leaders keep their composure when they're under more stress than ever? Increasingly complex challenges in A.I. and machine learning, the rise of blockchain, Gen Z demands for a more diverse workforce -- is it possible to handle all this and stay sane?

The answer is yes, and the solution is reading. There's a good reason the most successful people in the world share a love of books. By reading experts' insights, anyone can emulate the strategies of the best and brightest.

Whether you want to help your business grow or expand your personal horizons, these books can help:

1. "The Alter Ego Effect" by Todd Herman

Herman shares precise strategies used by top performers from the world of sports, politics, entertainment.  His book will help you become even more powerful on and off the field of play. Herman did not invent the concept of alter ego but clearly shows you how to leverage it. His ideas in the book are universal and timeless.

2. "I'm Not Done" by Patti Temple Rocks

The modern workplace focuses on appealing to younger generations, but what about older people who still want their chance? This book is a  firsthand deep dive into modern ageism that provides some startling examples of discrimination in action and proposes a solution. With Baby Boomers reaching retirement age -- and many choosing to remain at work -- this topic should concern anyone in a position of power.

3. "The 4 Keys" by Andrew Sillitoe

Great living is about more than success at work. In his new book, Andrew Sillitoe makes the case for his four keys to life: business, body, relationships and mindfulness. He condenses his thoughts into an actionable 90-day reset plan that's perfect for burnt-out business owners and professionals who want to regain control.

4. "Fire Doesn't Innovate" by Kip Boyle

Cybersecurity is not longer just the IT department's concern. A greater reliance on technology means businesses have more to lose in a breach. Kip Boyle's book teaches readers how to recognize potential risks, develop companywide strategies to mitigate those risks and protect sensitive data. His five-pronged approach provides a solid foundation for any cybersecurity beginner.

5. "Habit That!" by Jaime Hope, MD

Some experts say everyone should practice yoga for three hours every morning, while others champion the value of more family time. Dr. Jaime Hope's book reveals the truths and dispels the myths of better living, providing actionable advice on how to create healthier, sustainable habits in just five minutes a day.

6. "Excellence Wins" by Horst Schulze

As the co-founder of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Horst Schulze knows more than most about running a successful operation. His new book outlines the lessons and principles that have guided his illustrious career, but it doesn't leave small-timers out of the loop. Everyone, from Fortune 500 CEOs to fledgling startup founders, can benefit from Schulze's rich, insightful life lessons.

7. "Possible Minds: Twenty-Five Ways of Looking at AI" by John Brockman

Ask 100 AI experts about the future of AI, and the group will provide 101 answers. John Brockman, the author of "This Will Make You Smarter," interviewed some of the premier minds in modern technology to separate fact from fiction. Not all the interviewees agree about the future of AI, but their informed perspectives shed new light on AI's evolving role in society and business in this book.

8. "Atomic Habits" by James Clear

James Clear's book shares how that bad habits come from bad systems. To change the habit, one must first change the system that allowed the habit to arise. Clear provides an actionable framework based on research in biology, psychology and neuroscience for anyone looking to make permanent improvements. From internal motivation to environmental pressures, he examines the factors that influence habit and opens the door for positive change.

9. "This Is Marketing: You Can't Be Seen Until You Learn to See" by Seth Godin

Longtime thought leader Godin's book is more than just a crash course in marketing. Godin's hard-hitting advice is a fit for everyone, from the biggest CEO to the middlest manager. The practical, experience-driven insights here teach readers how to build trust in an audience, pick the right goal and leverage emotional tension to close deals.

No one knows what challenges the future will bring, but one thing is certain: Those who read the most will be best prepared to handle them. As 2019 unfolds, the lessons contained in these books will determine who succeeds, who fails and who wishes they'd spent more time learning and less time worrying.

Published on: Feb 21, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.