The world is a crazy, mixed-up place, isn’t it? A year ago, who would have predicted the downfall of Tiger Woods, BP, Carrie Bradshaw, Toyota, Al and Tipper, Dubai, "Law & Order," and the KFC Double Down sandwich? (OK, that one is wishful thinking.) While we’d like to claim that we saw the end of Sandra Bullock and Jesse James coming, we’re no clairvoyants, either. But we can offer a consolation prize: this list. It’s a sort of literary road map to the most important stories of the moment, as explained by some of the best minds in their diverse fields. Read it, and we promise you perfect hindsight.