In honor of the Vice Presidential debate tonight, we at Academy Chicago thought we would share with you, lovely readers, the deepest insight into these political players we could find via Google: their favorite books.

Being book-oriented souls ourselves, this is normally one of the first things we strive to uncover about a new acquaintance. It tells us so much, after all. A make-or-break discovery. For example, I recently met up with an old friend from college who I hadn’t seen in awhile and the conversation turned, naturally, to books. I was aghast to discover he was deep in the throes of the Da Vinci Code (for the second time!) and I cut our coffee date short as surreptitiously as I could. Why couldn’t it have been Denis Johnson instead of Dan Brown??

But enough about me. Please see below for a list of the beloved reading material of the incumbent and the rather worrying tastes of his competitors:

What does Obama open for inspiration as he guides this vast country away from the precipice of doom it so precariously straddles? He counts Shakespeare, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and John Steinbeck as favorite writers, and names What is the What by Dave Eggers, John Adams by David McCullough, Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer by Fred Kaplan, and Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison as tomes of greatness.

And Romney? He has proclaimed his love for The Bible (cough shocker cough,) Huckleberry Finn, and Twilight – perhaps he feels a sort of kinship with blood-sucking vampires? Most baffling of all, however, is his devotion to the 1000+ page catastrophe that is Battlefield Earth, penned by the 5’5’’ science-fiction writer and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. We’ll just leave that one alone.

Joe Biden is predictably inoffensive, stoically naming Jon Meacham’s American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation as his bedtime reading of choice.

Paul Ryan has been vocal about his adoration of Russian atheist philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand, particularly her work Atlas Shrugged. It’s a bit worrying that Ryan credits Rand with influencing his thinking during his formative years, as those familiar with Rand will also recall her fanatical love and worship of serial killer William Edward Hickman –

And lastly, no political list would be complete without input from Sarah Palin.  What words of wisdom does she have for us regarding her reading material, apart from informing us that she reads, “all the newspapers?”

Apparently, she finds C.S. Lewis to be “very, very deep.” Well put.