I am a professed bibliophile and I love to collect books.

My book collection primarily consists of books to-be-read. It is a rarity for me to keep a book after it has been read, as I do not typically re-read a book. The few books that I do keep are placed on a prominent shelf in my living room for me to peruse again.

For this month’s rumination article, I thought I would review a few of my favorite books if you are looking for a last-minute gift, compiling your cold winter months’ reading list or preparing for the upcoming annual “Snow Time to Read” adult winter reading program, which will begin January 2021 (I did verify this event with a local librarian!)

‘The Book of Joy’

My sister gifted this treasure to me in 2016, certainly one of the best presents I have ever received! This is a discourse between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. As this challenging year comes to a close, I am sure many of us are aspiring for more joy in 2021.

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‘What We Say Matters: Practicing Nonviolent Communication’

I first learned about nonviolent communication by Judith and Ike Lasater during medical school, and at that time, did not value the information. I read about this book in a Yoga Journal magazine several years ago and the concept took firm hold while reading these lessons on how to communicate more effectively. I have since read “Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication,” which was not as good as the Lasaters’ work.

‘Master Your Diabetes: A Comprehensive Approach for Both Type I and Type 2 Diabetes’

This book is written for both the lay person and medical professional alike. Dr. Mona Morstein is a naturopathic medical doctor who practices in Arizona and specializes in diabetes treatment. She covers medication options, diet, supplements and more in this 500-plus page paperback gem.

‘The Mind-Body Diabetes Revolution: A Proven New Program for Better Blood Sugar Control’

Richard Surwit, PhD, offers another aspect of diabetes care that is often overlooked, which can be helpful in achieving more optimal glucose control.

‘You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life’

This book by Jen Sincero is not for you if you are repulsed by offensive language. I personally find Jen’s sense of humor quite amusing, and as I paged through the book to refresh my memory, I found myself chuckling.

I am currently reading her business book and also consider that a worthwhile read for entrepreneurs.

Most excitingly, she just released “Badass Habits” this month that I keep eyeing.

I have four more books left to review for a future article. In the meantime, I hope you have been intrigued by one or more of my suggestions. Happy reading!



Rachel Oppitz has lived in Park Rapids with her husband, daughter and dog since 2006. She is a naturopathic doctor and owns Itasca Naturopathic Clinic in Park Rapids and Bemidji. In her spare time, she loves to read, workout with friends, play games, do jigsaw puzzles, camp, hike, bike, canoe, travel, do guided meditations on Insight Timer, try new recipes, listen to music and journal.