A new book group at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt., is focusing on nonfiction works about Muslim women, a departure from the fiction books past groups have read.
"The idea came from conversations with friends and previous book group participants," said Sandra Wiechert, the library's community relations coordinator. "It was just a natural after September 11, and because (Muslim) women's problems were in the spotlight. It's very timely."
Wiechert organized the group with Beverly Mack, associate professor of African and African-American studies at Kansas University. Mack chose the books.
The group, which meets every other week and has about 30 members, began Jan. 16 and will finish Feb. 27.
Participants are reading "Dreams of Trespass" by Fatima Mernissi; "A Border Passage" by Leila Ahmed; "Daughters of Another Path" by Carol Anway; and "Nine Parts of Desire" by Geraldine Brooks.
Jodi Anway the daughter of author Carol Anway will lead the discussion about "Daughters of Another Path," which details Jodi Anway's conversion to Islam.
All of the book group members are women, Wiechert said, but they represent a range of ages and backgrounds.
"They're very interested in the topic, and a lot of them do have preconceived notions and ideas, but they're all very open and willing to be challenged," she said.