Why Me? by Justice St. Rain

A Spiritual Guide to Growing Through Tests — Life Lessons Gleaned from the Teachings of the Bahá’í Faith

Justice St. Rain’s short (104 pages) but compelling volume explores the meaning of difficulties encountered in life from the Bahá’í perspective. He makes rich use of the Writings, but also provides examples, analogies, and helpful analysis to assist in understanding. The book is well-organized, presenting topics in logical order, and provides a variety of possible views for the interpretation of tests and difficulties for individuals as well as for humanity in general. The tone is overwhelmingly positive, even when dealing with subjects such as grief, anger, and sadness. Why Me? can be a quick read, but it provides long-lasting food for thought and is an excellent book for deepening, individually or in a group.

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A Safe Place to Talk About Race by Sharon E. Davis

Sharon E. Davis is host of the VoiceAmerica radio show which shares the title with her book “A Safe Place to Talk About Race”. The main body of her book is composed of ten interviews from her radio show focusing on racial healing. Ms. Davis opens the book with a personal introduction which clearly conveys her in-depth understanding of racism and what she sees that the process of healing it entails. She also includes her ideas for what the reader should expect from the book, and suggestions for how best to use it.

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The Divine Art of Living by Mabel Hyde Paine

Mabel Hyde Paine has collected and thematically arranged quotations from the Bab, Baha’u’llah, and ‘Abdu’l-Baha in this compilation that will be familiar to many Baha’i readers. First published in 1944, it has undergone numerous updates, and its enduring popularity testifies to its continuing relevance. The book is organized around a variety of meaningful topics including trust in God, prayer and meditation, health and healing, relationships (including marriage and children), death and loss, and coping with tests and difficulties. Each chapter topic is also divided into subtopics relevant to the chapter title, making it easy to find quotations for whatever guidance the reader is seeking. All quotations are referenced to their original sources with a key at the back of the book. The foreword at the beginning of the book includes a history of the book’s development and also a brief history of the Baha’i Faith.

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The Challenge of Baha’u’llah By Gary L. Matthews

This book presents a detailed approach to the study of Baha’u’llah’s claim of divine revelation. The “challenge” of the title is both an examination of the veracity of His claim and its meaning to the world of humanity. The author provides historical data and background, then approaches Baha’u’llah and His revelation from the possible perspective of a skeptic, attempting to examine His life, person, and writings from a rational and objective perspective.

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Heavenly Attributes: The Character of ‘Abdu’l-Baha By Mona Khademi

Mona Khademi’s book is a short collection of reminiscences of four early Baha’is who each spent a period of their lives in the presence of ‘Abdu’l-Baha. The memories are from different points in the life of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, and have been selected by the author to illustrate different virtues as exemplified by the person known to Baha’is as the Master. Together, they also illuminate various parts of his personality and overall character. The four early Baha’is are two easterners and two westerners: Mirza Badi Bushrui, Dr. Habib Moayyad, Lady Sara Blomfield, and Howard Colby Ives.

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The Secret of Emotions by Justice Saint Rain

This book is the first of a trilogy of books that address human emotions through both a psychological and spiritual lens. It offers a synthesis of the two approaches that appears uniquely suited to Baha’is and others interested in improving their self-awareness and understanding, and exploring the role of emotions in human behavior and spiritual development.

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Prison Poems by Mahvash Sabet

Adapted from the original Persian by Bahiyyih Nakhjavani
Based on translations by Violette and Ali Nakhjavani

This book is a collection of poems written by Mahvash Sabet, a Bahá’í woman in Iran who served as secretary of the Yaran (the council responsible for directing Bahá’í affairs in Iran), and who was imprisoned in 2008. Held for two and a half years without a proper hearing, she and her fellow Yaran members were convicted and sentenced to twenty years imprisonment in 2010. Historical background of interest to the reader is provided in both the Foreword, by Mahnaz Parakand (one of four lawyers defending the Yaran), and in the Note on the Translations by Bahiyyih Nakhjavani.

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