Candidates Name Their Favorite Books

Presidential Questions

In less than a week, Americans decide whether Barack Obama or John McCain becomes the 44th President of the United States. In the series "Presidential Questions," CBS News anchor Katie Couric asks questions that move the candidates well beyond the usual sound-bites. Some questions concern policy. Others are more personal. All will give you a better sense of who these men are - and what has shaped them. What follows is Couric's question - and the candidates' full answers.

Katie Couric: What is your favorite book of all time?

Barack Obama: Well, the bible is the book that shaped me and moved me the most. But, in addition to that, Toni Morrison's "Song of Solomon" might be one of my favorite books. It's just a beautiful, beautiful book. And I've gotten a chance to know Toni Morrison during the course of this campaign, and she's just as elegant and wise and thoughtful as you would want her to be. You know, it's always nice to meet somebody and they turn out to be just like you want them to be. She's just a spectacular writer and a spectacular woman.

Shakespeare's tragedies, whether it's "Hamlet" or "[King] Lear." There's so much in each of those tragedies. You can read them once a year and each year, there's something new, there's something you didn't notice. There is some insight into the human dilemma. It's powerful stuff.

John McCain: "For Whom the Bell Tolls." It's about a fella from Montana that goes to Spain to fight for a cause he believes in. His name is Jordan. He falls in love, of course, with a beautiful Spanish young woman, but he's willing - even when disillusioned with a cause he came to fight for, which was the Communists - he's willing to sacrifice his life for his comrades. And that's where I got the phrase "the world is a wonderful place and well worth the fighting for."