I haven't had time to get through the entire thread here, but I had to throw in my favorites, too.
Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Pope Joan by Donna Cross
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand
A Wrinkle in Time (and the rest of this series) by Madeleine L'Engle
And I think that's it for now. I *loved* the Mitford Series, btw!!