Book Reviews

The Baha’i Faith claims a special and unique relationship to Islam. The religion acknowledges its origins in 19th-century Shi’i Islam, celebrates the Qur’an as the authentic Word of God, and honors the Prophet Muhammad as Messenger of God and Seal of the Prophets. But, on the other hand, the Baha’i Faith insists that it is a new and independent religion that stands distinct and apart from Islam and Islamic practice. This book attempts to understand how such an apparent “cognitive dissonance” may be resolved. Being Human seeks to reconcile contradictions and demonstrate how Baha’i teachings point the way toward peace and the reconciliation of all world religions

Online at

Being Human:

Bahá’í Perspectives on Islam, Modernity, and Peace.

By Todd Lawson. Kalimat, 2019.

The arts teacher is ruining what used to be Aiko’s favorite class.  Zeke misses out on the best part of the whole year – the science fair – when he has to go into the hospital.  Arwen lives to play soccer, but a stupid lie means he might not be allowed to play.  Ghada comes home to find that her beloved grandma has died.

When ten-year-old friends set up an after-school club so they can hang out together more often, they don’t expect to be able to solve these problems themselves.  But when they tap into the spirit within them, they and their friends discover that they have the power to make the world a better place.

Arwen’s schoolwork and coaching duties are increasing substantially; to make it worse, his parents are having marriage problems.  Ghada is struggling to choose between what her Bahá’í Faith teaches and what magazines, television, and movies invite her to do.  Being part of the Spirit Within Club is taking its toll on Egan’s friendships at the Buddhist Temple.  The club’s newest member, MaSovaida, doesn’t understand why the house of a devout Christian family like hers was robbed.

After the initial success of their club, launched only a year ago, a group of eleven-year-old friends realise that making the world a better place entails a whole new set of challenges. But when they start widening their circle - of friends, mentors, and activities – they realise that their power and influence can only increase.

Tending the Garden is a biography of Rosemary and Emeric Sala who became Baha'is in Montreal at a time when there were some sixty members in all of Canada.   It is told in the Sala's words, using excerpts of letters and papers spanning the years 1926 to 1990.  Included is correspondence to and from Shoghi Effendi, Ruhiyyih Khanum, May and Sutherland Maxwell, among many others.  

Here you will learn about Montreal's first Baha'i youth group; how, while World War II raged, Emeric wrote a book what would become a well-used introduction to the Faith; and how Rosemary set up a library in a South African township school in the days of apartheid.  There is a story about Mrs. Guilaroff who had heard Abdu'l-Baha speak while He was in Montreal.   And much more.

Available at Bahá'i Book store Montreal : Bookstore

The Nirvana Threads is a love story, a spiritual adventure, a nostalgic time-travel to the 90’s punk rock era, and a playful exploration of the magical.

Set in the 90’s when people didn’t have cell phones, smoked in bars, and punk rock was thriving. Carlie, a wild, twenty-five year old drifter moves back to her parents’ after surviving a traumatic accident. Back home, she starts seeing things she doesn’t understand, and the feelings that come with them are overwhelmingly blissful. When chasing the source of her new joy starts to pull her closer to death, she must find a way to harness this power that makes her feel so alive.

Includes the short graphic novel “Octob*tch and the WrenchKing” 

Topaz, free-spirited, ill-fitting heroine in an absurd, dystopian fantasy world, does the unthinkable of following her heart through the strangest of portals, revealing the truth of her destiny. But how much will she sacrifice to fulfill it? A colorful, poetic adventure about growth, authenticity and seeing things to the end.

Under the rule of the terrible Murx, where Mirthlings show false kindness out of duty and live out terrifically absurd pre-ordained callings in permanent joylessness, our ill-fitting heroine Topaz trades her stifling life for the most surreal of portals, orbiglass worlds and fantastic friends, discovering her true origins and inherent powers on her path to attain the silver-peaked mountain where she believes happiness awaits her. There and back again, Topaz battles with herself as she faces the challenges of friendship, deceit and loss, until with a little magic and a lot of heart she comes to love the Mirthlings she once despised, inadvertently emerging as the one destined to return balance to all the worlds.

In kinship with DiTerlizzi’s The Search for WondLa and Salman Rushdie’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories – a story to transport and inspire the young and the young at heart.

(This book is currently being revised and re-edited, and will be re-released near the end of 2019 with a new cover and a map.) 

Feeling fortunate but awful: 

This is a book of poetry and prose chronicling my journey through depression to healing.

The aim of this book is to better understand depression, which affects millions of people and is still misunderstood. There are lessons learned in self care that I share as well which can apply to any one of us. I write about friendship, authenticity and setting limits for oneself.  I also discuss the role of creativity and prayer in healing. And finally, I reflect on the value of challenges in our growth and development.

 Available at Bahá'i Book store Montreal : Bookstore



Collage of me:

This book of poetry consists of reflections on identity and belonging.  I left Iran when I was fourteen and I write about how my view of identity has changed and grown since then.  It’s the story of immigration and its affects on how we see ourselves and where we feel we belong.  It’s the story of East meeting West and its repercussions.


 Available at Bahá'i Book store Montreal : Bookstore

S5 Box