CIR Book Clubs

Great reads and great discussions. CIR is proud to host two book clubs, one that focuses on non-fiction works and the other on fiction. We think both are indispensable to the global citizen.

Non-Fiction Club

Six times a year, members of the non-fiction book club select and discuss a book, which provides insights into current and historical international issues. Meetings are typically held from 5:00 -6:30 pm on the first Tuesday of odd-numbered months, at the CIR office: 413 Grant Avenue, Suite D.  The office is just north of Paseo de Peralta and right next to the concrete bridge that joins Grant with Rosario Street. NOTE that you can park on the west side of the Wells Fargo building.

Call Virginia McCallum, Book Club Coordinator, for more information: 515-290-1221,

Also if you have suggestions for future book selections, let Virginia know. We’re always interested in recommendations.

The book selection for November 7, 2017 is:

Gangster Warlords: Drug Dollars, Killing Fields, and the New Politics of Latin America

by Ioan Grillo, British Journalist; interviewed gangsters, police, and victims of violence for this book about Latin American crime syndicates. Based in Mexico City since 2001; writes for Time Magazine, CNN, Reuters, The Associated Press, CBC, The Sunday Telegraph

(2016)             347 pp                        4 ½ Amazon Stars               ISBN-13: 978-1531864897

Book Overview

The cartels in Latin America and the Caribbean affect Americans now – from the gas in our cars to the gold in our jewelry, to the tens of thousands Latin Americans calling for refugee status in the U.S.

“As I looked through the book, I found parallels and comparisons to Islamic terrorism and Afghanistan as well as Vietnam, which should foster discussion of the content during the November meeting.”  – Virginia McCallum


The following address the topics discussed in Gangsters and Warlords.

Fiction Book Club

New for 2017, the Fiction Book Club explores culture through story and imagination. We agree completely with the statement from Adm. James Stavridis at our 2016 Gala that reading fiction is essential to our cultural consciousness. We are presently determining the next title for this club, and we’ll let you all know ASAP!!!