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

Every spring, local residents have staged a play based on To Kill a Mockingbird in this courthouse in Monroeville, Ala. Debbie Elliott/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Debbie Elliott/NPR

Harper Lee, seen here receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007, actually wrote Go Set a Watchman first. But she set it aside when her editor suggested focusing on Scout's flashbacks instead — and she did, in what became To Kill a Mockingbird. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Author James Patterson, pictured in 2011 in New York City, says independent bookstores are "vital to our future as a country." Janette Pellegrini/Getty Images for Disney Publishing hide caption

itoggle caption Janette Pellegrini/Getty Images for Disney Publishing