Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, was born on this day in 1926. In honor of the festive occasion, a few words from the birthday girl…

Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”

The book to read is not the one which thinks for you, but the one which makes you think. No book in the world equals the Bible for that.”

Many receive advice, only the wise profit from it.”

“Writing is a process of self-discipline you must learn before you can call yourself a writer. There are people who write, but I think they’re quite different from people who must write.”

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.”

Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”

Well, they’re Southern people, and if they know you are working at home they think nothing of walking right in for coffee. But they wouldn’t dream of interrupting you at golf.”

As you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it–whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, he is trash.” (Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird)