Hall sits in a sunny bay window to write. "My first drafts are always in long hand, on legal pads," she explains. "I love putting pen to paper." Andre Ellis hide caption

itoggle caption Andre Ellis

Barbra Streisand does a lot of singing on transit — over the course of Funny Girl, Funny Lady, Yentl and Hello Dolly (above) she sings aboard a train, a plane, a taxi a tugboat, and an ocean liner. 20th Century Fox/Chenault/The Kobal Collection hide caption

itoggle caption 20th Century Fox/Chenault/The Kobal Collection

Black demonstrators run down a Natchez, Miss., street in 1967 after a report that several white youths with a gun were near. The town's civil rights past informs author Greg Iles' crime fiction. AP hide caption

itoggle caption AP

Harper Lee, pictured in 2007 before receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

"When there is danger, when there is destruction, we kind of feel like we're on the edge of life, fully alive, and that can really bring out some strong prose," says author Mitchell Zuckoff. iStockphoto hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto

The Shadow Hero, a new graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew, revives the comic book hero the Green Turtle. Sonny Liew/Courtesy of First Second Books hide caption

itoggle caption Sonny Liew/Courtesy of First Second Books

In addition to her 15 novels, Nadine Gordimer authored several volumes of short stories and nonfiction. Radu Sigheti/Reuters /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Radu Sigheti/Reuters /Landov

Was "I think I can" the great-grandmother of "lean in?" Some readers see the plucky locomotive as a parable about working women, but some versions of the story feature a male protagonist instead. Platt & Munk, Penguin Young Readers Group hide caption

itoggle caption Platt & Munk, Penguin Young Readers Group