We recently asked our gang of writers to send in their thoughts on a song/book/film that "defined" or at some point "changed" their life. Sit back, and enjoy the results. Will Slater: Blessing In Disguise by Devotchka (from the album A Mad And Faithful Telling) "Maybe losing something that you love is a blessing in disguise", the opening line of this song rings clear in my head for hours after listening. This is a grand, romantic waltz that carries the pace in which I like to think life goes. It explains how an unfulfillable love story can remind you that there are still better things in life, able to bring you happiness. I am frequently reminded of this after fixating on one so-called important thing and becoming unhappy because I fail to recognise everything else that would otherwise make me joyful. Once this object of love has been and gone I "finally see what's going on. I count the fingers that you made me. Am I squandering the life you gave me". Although the main protagonist addresses God in this song, while I'm not such a believer, I still gain a new perspective on what I have, and the swooning strings and brass bring the chapter to a beautiful fading end. This is a song for lovers, and anti-lovers. Let it remind you of whatever you wish, I just hope it reminds you of someone or something special. Aaron Hunt: This Book Will Save Your Life by A.M Homes When I first thought about this question to myself, one title in particular sprang to mind - This Book Will Save Your Life by A.M Homes. I know, the title seems a little predictable or presumptuous even to be the answer to a question such as this. But although I can't claim to have been saved by the book or that the books purpose is even to do just that, A.M Homes' uplifting and apocalyptic tale will certainly be one piece of literature that I won't be forgetting in a hurry. I find it rather funny looking back on a time just before I had ever read or heard of this book and seeing just how similar myself and the main character actually were. Where we might not have shared many of the same life experiences or similar character traits, we were both people trying to bring ourselves back to something. In my case this was my love for reading, an interest I had subsequently lost through my early years of high school, until one glorious summer in which I consumed this book, cover to cover. It's a vivid and revealing novel about compassion, transformation and what can happen if you are willing to lose yourself and open up to the world around you. I shared some very intimate moments over this book and for all I know, the very same copy that I once owned might now be recreating that same life affirming and compelling feeling for its new owner. This Book Will Save Your Life changed my perspective on many things and brought back an interest that I had otherwise thought was gone. Since reading this book I've managed to rekindle my love of reading and I consider that a change for the better. Vanessa Deroo: High Fidelity by Nick Hornby It’s all about music, or so Nick Horny led me to believe. Oh, to be sixteen again. High Fidelity is the first book I’ve read in English, probably because I wanted to act cool at the time. Needless to say I’ve been hooked since the very first page I turned, eight whole years ago. You may wonder where I discovered my love for “five all-time” lists. This book? Music quizzes? DEFINITELY this book. Tips about obscure records and artists? Same. A sudden obsession for record stores and the urge to spend every free minute in them (even if I was living in a small French town devoid of anyone with musical knowledge)? You guessed right. I think I’ll never find another book so entirely passionate and real, something that manages to sum up the world’s healthy obsession with music. Every character brought to life in the book still touches me in so many ways, eight long years after first meeting them. More importantly, Rob Zimmermann taught me the only piece of relationship advice worth anything, (“It’s no good pretending that any relationship has a future if your record collections disagree violently”) and I thank him for that. It’s all about the music, after all. Stay tuned for Part 2 of This Defined My Life coming soon.