I have several favorite novels; some are either Regency or Victorian English literature. One that sticks out in my head right now is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
One of my new favorite authors is Stephanie Barron who writes the Being a Jane series in which Jane Austen is not only a writer but a detective as she helps solve various murders, including one with Lord Byron as the prime suspect (we all know about his "mad, bad, and dangerous to know" reputation).
I hope to someday write a novel that takes place in either Regency era England or Victorian era England but I'm leaning toward the latter.
Gosh this is too hard of a question So many to pick. I loved The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, one of my favorites. I also LOVED The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck and not one I would have picked on my own. One of my teachers gave me a copy and said read. He was so right!
Starcrossed by Linda Collison. Offhand it sounds like another generic lovey-dovey story but it really wasn't. 1700's, a sharp-witted British girl who's father died, leaving her an estate in Barbados and she must find a way to reach said estate, with not a penny to her name. So she hides aboard a merchant ship and is soon discovered. Great book, I loved it because it was so detailed and informative.
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. This book about a young man who was sent into to space to be trained for a war against a seemingly fearsome alien race was what sparked my love of reading and Science-Fiction (I also think Pathfinder by the same author is fantastic.)
So. Second favourite is 'The curious incident of the dog in the nighttime' by Mark Haddon. I can't even really remember what it was about, I just remember reading it for my GCSEs and really thinking back to it when we went on to 'Catcher in the Rye'. Which is also a great book.
East of Eden by John Steinbeck. There is something great about his telling of three generations and two main families. Also, more of a kid novel but, The Phantom Tollbooth is a great play on common sayings and ways of thinking.