George Brett wipes a new bat down with a pine tar rag before a game with the Cleveland Indians on July 25, 1983. The day before, Brett had been called out for using a bat with pine tar too far down the bat; the league president decided that Brett's bat was OK. Doug Atkins/AP hide caption

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Author and activist Bill McKibben paddles toward Follensby Pond in New York's Adirondack Mountains, along the route followed by Ralph Waldo Emerson in the summer of 1858. Julia Ferguson/NCPR hide caption

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Lea and Bandy met in 1976 at a high school dance. "He was the boy from out of town," Lea writes. "I was the girl who wanted out." John Carswell/Courtesy of the author hide caption

itoggle caption John Carswell/Courtesy of the author

Harper Lee's friend Michael Brown took this picture of the author in October 1957, the same month she signed with publisher J.B. Lippincott. Michael Brown/Courtesy of Columbia University hide caption

itoggle caption Michael Brown/Courtesy of Columbia University

Ta-Nehisi Coates is national correspondent for The Atlantic. He is also the author of The Beautiful Struggle. Nina Subin/Random House hide caption

itoggle caption Nina Subin/Random House

Marcel Proust Omikron Omikron/Photo Researchers RM/Getty Images hide caption

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A Lane cake is a layered sponge cake filled with a rich mixture of egg yolks, butter, sugar, raisins and whiskey and topped with boiled icing. Nadia Chaudhury for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Nadia Chaudhury for NPR

In 2013, residents of some towns in western Mexico took up arms in an effort to defend their villages against drug gangs. Marco Ugarte/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Marco Ugarte/AP

Pilgrims leaving Canterbury, from text of the end of the Prologue to The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer. British Library/The Art Archive hide caption

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A group of dads from Project Fatherhood join author Jorja Leap to celebrate the publication of her book, Project Fatherhood: A Story of Courage and Healing in One of America's Toughest Communities. Todd Cheney/Courtesy of UCLA Photography hide caption

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Lydia Thompson/NPR

Kate Atkinson says she never sees her characters at just one stage of their lives. Just as we are constantly thinking about the past, present and future in real life, she constructs her characters in the same way. Euan Myles/Courtesy Hachette Book Group hide caption

itoggle caption Euan Myles/Courtesy Hachette Book Group

Pages bookstore partner and manager Samer al-Kadri (center) talks with customers. The Syrian founded a publishing company in Damascus, but fled when the war made it impossible to run. He wound up in Istanbul, where he noticed a lack of books in Arabic, and took it upon himself to serve the community. Peter Kenyon/NPR hide caption

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Juan Felipe Herrera won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2008 for his collection Half of the World in Light. Courtesy of Blue Flower Arts hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Blue Flower Arts
Ariel Zambelich/NPR

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, pictured here in 2004, was the principal publisher of the writers and poets known as the Beat Generation. Gezett/ullstein bild via Getty Images hide caption

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Fallon's new book has a daddy bee, dog, rabbit, cat and donkey (one of his personal favorites) all trying — and failing — to get their babies to say "dada." Macmillan Children's Publishing Group hide caption

itoggle caption Macmillan Children's Publishing Group