* Happy 50, Dolores.
* German literary critic Marcel Reich-Ranicki response to his lifetime achievement prize: "I don't belong here among all this rubbish ... I have been given many literature prizes in my life, but I don't belong in this line-up. If the prize was linked with money, I would have given the cash back too."
* Maud Newton is reporting from England on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the OED. We would have loved to attend but getting onto another plane for another twelve hour flight was more than we could bear, so we'll happily follow her dispatches.
* Czech television is reporting that Milan Kundera reported a friend of a fellow student to the communist secret police in 1950.
* Valerie Martin's list of best-ever books.
* Los Angeles's literary rabbi, David Wolpe - whose new book Why Faith Matters we're in the middle of - responds to the new Bill Maher movie.
Maher's dislike of religion is not reasoned, however, but visceral. He told Mother Jones magazine about the Jews praying on his plane to Israel: "Even on the plane over, they were, at a certain point, they all stood up in the aisle of the plane davening [praying] ... they just looked like crazy people, always bowing their head. It's disconcerting." No doubt had they worn Armani suits and been tapping at a keyboard, Mr. Maher would have found them rational; but seeking transcendence in coach -- crazy.
* Monica Ali, Julian Barnes, Ian Rankin, Alain de Botton, and A.L. Kennedy are among the dozens of British writers who have contributed to a satirical collection protesting new British anti-terrorist legislation. (We can't help be reminded of Woody Allen's immortal riff on "devastating satire" from Manhattan.)
* Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum is profiled in the San Diego Union Tribune.
* John Banville has urged Trinity College to end the practice of vivisection.
* Speaking of Banville, we grinned with self-recognition at this passage about his recent chapter excerpt, from an essay about free books:
For a Banville obsessive, this was rare excitement, a bit like the moment when a middle-aged man of a certain stamp discovers that Bob Dylan is about to release a new album. Reading the four pages featured on the journal's website confirmed that, whatever the allure of writing high-class crime fiction - under the pseudonym Benjamin Black - holds for Banville, his preoccupations remain constant.
* Not in your movies, they didn't. Roger Moore, promoting his memoir, says he would have preferred playing a Bond villain because they had the better lines ...
* Speaking of Bond, the Independent looks at the literary Bond's lifestyle and finds much to complain about. (It's worth noting Fleming based Bond's eating, drinking and smoking habits on his own, and he was dead of a massive heart attack at 56.)
* Everyone has noted the arrival of Tina Brown's The Daily Beast. Maybe we're too far from New York to care too much, but we'll be checking in at least at the outset.
* Toni Morrison's new novel - the galley of which is still sitting on our unpacked box marked "HOT HOT HOT" (and if that box is still unpacked, that should tell you something) - will be previewing the book for Princeton audiences Tuesday.
* Thank God! Just what we needed! Another book prize!
* The Khaleej Times wonders "where's the Dickens for our times?" and, contra certain current fashionable trends, suggests Americans are better suited to the assignment.
* Booker Prize second guessing begins and they haven't even picked a winner yet.
* And, finally, Booker Prize finalist Philip Hensher's room is the latest Guardian Writer's room.