Easy, exotic pizza!

Our book maven and avid cook, Alice Farnsworth, reviewed this delightful and unusual pizza cookbook by a Benedictine priest and monk:

Whether you are an old hand at working with yeast dough, or are praying to learn how, the renowned chef and TV personality, Fr. Dominic Garramone, has written just the book for you. 

Thursday Night Pizza is a 115-page long paperback, packed with mouth-watering pizza recipes. Some are traditional, but others are unusual, such as spicy Thai Peanut Chicken Pizza. There are appetizer pizzas and dessert pizzas, and many sauces and crusts. The directions are chatty, with fun-to-read tips and a light-hearted discussion of the basics of dough making.
 
Father Dominic is a Benedictine priest and monk of St. Bede Abbey in Peru, Illinois. The monastery’s weekly community night is also pizza night, when it becomes a pizza-testing lab. Whatever is in season or available winds up on the pies. The favorite pizzas of the community’s 25 monks include Four Cheese Tomato Top, Pizza Diavolo, and that old reliable, sausage and pepperoni.
 
Eventually, Father Dominic’s drama students were invited to help chop, learn to toss the dough, assemble pizzas, eat, and have an all-around hilarious night. 
 
From 1999 through 2002 Father Dominic hosted the popular PBS show Breaking Bread with Father Dominic.
 
Father Dominic has inspired me to throw my own pizza nights for family and friends, who will be expected to join in both making and eating. It should be fun. We can all use a little more of that!
 
Father Dominic Garramone’s cookbooks are available at bookstores and online at www.reedypress.com and www.amazon.com.
 
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Must-read fiction

The internationally acclaimed bestseller The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano is now in paperback. It is truly must-read fiction. Our Alice Farnsworth considers it one of the new best works of literature.

Here is Alice’s review:

 
A prime number can be divided only by itself or by one; it never truly fits with another. Both Alice and Mattia are primes, misfits damaged in childhood. They are lonely, miscast children who suffer overwhelming trauma, further isolating them. 
 
When she is eight, Alice is crippled by a devastating skiing accident. She blames her father and her emotionally absent mother. Mattia, clearly a genius, is burdened by his mentally-handicapped twin, and abandons her in a park, thus avoiding the embarrassment of taking her with him to a birthday party. When he returns hours later, she has disappeared, never to be found. As they grow into their teens, both Alice and Mattia punish themselves with self-mutilation, their outer wounds reflecting their inner agony. Alice and Mattia meet in their teens, recognizing in each kindred spirits. Their destinies seem irrevocably intertwined, but they are later separated.
 
Paolo Giordano’s writing is pointed and direct but aptly descriptive, creating an atmosphere of solitude. As readers, we feel like phantoms, along with Alice and Mattia. At the same time, the author has created a good, well-paced, and well-told story. There doesn’t seem to be a single misplaced word.
 
Paolo Giordano is a 27-year-old particle physicist. He wrote this, his first novel, as a hobby, but now The Solitude of Prime Numbers has been translated into more than 30 languages. Giordano is the youngest winner of Italy’s premier literary award. The British newspaper The Independent called him "a promising hope for the future of Italian literature." 
 
He is writing his second novel. It will be interesting to see whether it can possibly be better than this first.
 
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