After deciding definitively on the book list through June, it's only after I started creating this event that I realized that we have three American books in a row.
Usually I try to vary the cultural setting and time period much more than that, so I've been seriously considering changing this book. But I cant... I just cant! I must read The Godfather!!! Everyone knows the rule of thumb: the book is always better than the film- right? Well the first and second Godfather movies are considered to be two of the best movies of all time. So how much better will the book be? And after reading this little tid-bit on Wikipedia, I was especially intrigued...
The novel had a “Godfather Effect” on American culture. As noted by author Tom Santopietro, The Godfather was a turning point in American cultural consciousness. With its emphasis on proud ethnicity, The Godfather changed not just the way Italian-Americans saw themselves, but how Americans of all backgrounds viewed their individual and national self-identities, their possibilities, and attendant disappointments. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Godfather_(novel)#cite_note-5)
The "Godfather Effect" had a broader philosophical dimension, as well. As noted by Santopietro, "what Puzo delivered - brilliantly - was nothing less than a disquisition on the madness, glory, and failure of the American dream (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_dream)."  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Godfather_(novel)#cite_note-6) Early in the novel, Amerigo Bonasera declares “I believe in America.” The novel then depicts a nation where Mafia and big business are two sides of the same coin: both are corrupt, tell the truth selectively, and do exactly as they wish. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Godfather_(novel)#cite_note-7)
This insight is bluntly stated by Michael Corleone, who recommends that Italian-Americans “must learn from the philanthropists like the Rockefellers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockefellers) – first you rob everybody, then you give to the poor.”
So I'll have to attempt to make up for a little more diversity later on, but for now I'm just not sorry. I really don't think this book needs too much selling for me to convince a few of you to read it, but here's a short plot summary if you need one.
Summary:The book opens with the wedding of Connie Corleone, daughter of Don Vito 'The Godfather' Corleone, head of the most powerful of the five great Mafia clans or 'families' of New York. Don Corleone is shot at by a new contender for power in the city, Virgil 'the Turk' Solozzo, who plans to obtain power by the lure of vast profits in the drug trafficking trade. After the Don is incapacitated by his assassination attempt, the book follows the Corleone family's progress as they must now adapt to the changing times and power dynamics and maintain the Corleone empire. Santino 'Sonny' Corleone is too blunt and brash a man to ever become Don while Freddie is weak and ineffective. The book follows the journey and transformation of the youngest, and hitherto the Don's most distant, son Michael as he realizes that though he may have tried to live by society's norms, rejecting what his father represented, inside lives a true Sicilian who will stop at nothing to get what he wants and protect those he loves. Michael has a tough task ahead of him, he has to locate his father's would-be assassin, crush the rival gangs and regain once more the respect that the name Corleone inspired in New York...
New to the Hungry Hundred Book Club? Here's what you need to know:
1. Read the book
2. Come to the meeting, always on the last Sunday of every month
3. Be prepared to order food/drink at the venue (where ever that may be) to show our appreciation for letting us use their space
4. Discuss! It's a casual conversation, so don't be afraid to ask questions and let us know what you think.