Circle of Friends Book Club meeting summary for March 2019
March 13, 2019
Members discussed two books on Baha’i fasting at last month’s meeting: Happy Fasting by Saied Mirafzali, and Fasting, A Baha’i Handbook by Duane L. Herrmann. Members found both books helpful, but in different ways. Mr. Herrmann’s book includes quotations about fasting and the Fast, organized by which figure of the Faith authored the quotation. Dr. Mirafzali’s book provides some quotations, but takes a pragmatic approach as well, with discussions on topics such as what foods to choose during the Fast that members found especially helpful. Members shared personal experiences with fasting, such as recognizing another person was a Baha’i because they were fasting too. They also discussed their own helpful hints, such as what made them look forward to the Fast, what they preferred when breaking the Fast in the evening, and their own practices to encourage staying healthy.
Members also took some time at the meeting to discuss Whistling Vivaldi by Claude M. Steele, since the meeting last month was cancelled due to weather. Members pointed out that the book’s discussion of stereotypes and how they influence concrete data such as test scores was especially powerful with both race and gender, and points to the need for society and especially education to become aware or maintain awareness of these issues, and question all assumptions made on the basis of such categories.