Ai Weiwei

Jonathan Lethem pens a takedown in the Los Angeles Review of Books of a tough but positive review New Yorker critic James Wood wrote of Lethem's novel The Fortress of Solitude, while at The Millions, Alan Hollinghurst slams Wood’s review of his latest book as “so pathetic that I stopped taking it seriously.”

Slate’s staff selects its “new classics”: books, movies, songs, and even typefaces that staffers think will stand the test of time. Bob Dylan’s Chronicles, Volume 1, and Aleksandar Hemon’s Nowhere Man get nods in the books department.

How publishers handled illustrating “The Joy of Sex” in repressive 1970s Britain.

Since last Tuesday, more than twenty-thousand people have donated over $840,000 to help dissident artist Ai Weiwei pay his $2.4 million tax bill to the Chinese government.

Ayn Rand, Newt Gingrich, Rachel Maddow, and Frank Rich round out the New Republic’s list of the most over-rated thinkers of 2011.

The Awl offers an illustrated look at what would have happened if popular characters in literature had been killed off in early drafts.