Your favorite book says a lot about who you are. As any devoted reader knows, a book can help you get through hard times and even change the way you look at the world.
In a recent video montage, HuffPost staffers answered the question, "What is the essential book of your life?" Their wide range of answers might surprise you, and could inspire you to add a few new titles to your reading bucket list.
The list included authors from Henry Kissinger to John Milton, and genres including classic novels, epic poems, short stories and political memoirs. But the one thing they had in common was their ability to change the reader's perspective and enable them to see things in a new light.
"When I first read it, it was like the top of my head was coming off," HuffPost Healthy Living Editorial Director Meredith Melnick said of Alice Munro's short story collection, Hateship, Friendship, Loveship, Courtship, Marriage. "It was just an amazing, really emotional response to her writing."
Liz Martinez, a HuffPost Live producer, explained that Tropic of Cancer made her feel more aware of her own humanity. "I did feel sort of awakened," she said.
Watch the video clip above to view the rest of their picks, and tell us about the book that changed your life in the comments.