Nicholas Sparks Book List

Bestselling Romances With Tragic Twists

Nicholas Sparks
Logan Mock-Bunting/Stringer/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

If you're a reader who loves uplifting romance novels, you probably have read a few Nicholas Sparks books. Sparks has written nearly 20 novels in his career, all of which have been best-sellers. He's sold more than 105 million books worldwide, and 11 of his novels have been turned into films. 

A native of Nebraska, Sparks was born Dec. 31, 1965, though he has lived most of his adult life in North Carolina, where his books are set. He began writing in college, producing two novels. But neither was ever published, and Sparks worked a number of different jobs in his first years after graduating from Notre Dame.

Sparks' first book, published in 1990, was a nonfiction book co-written with Billy Mills called "Wokini: A Lakota Journey to Happiness and Self-Understanding." But sales were modest, and Sparks continued to support himself by working as a pharmaceutical salesman in the early '90s. It was during this period that he was inspired to write his next novel, "The Notebook." It was completed in just six weeks.

In 1995, he secured a literary agent, and "The Notebook" was quickly picked up by Time Warner Book Group. The publisher clearly liked what they read, because they gave Sparks a $1 million advance. Published in October 1996, "The Notebook" rocketed to the top of The New York Times Best Seller list and remained there for a year.

Since then, Nicholas Sparks has written nearly 20 books, including "A Walk to Remember" (1999), "Dear John" (2006), and "The Choice" (2016), all of which have been adapted for the big screen. Read on to learn more about each of Nicholas Sparks' novels.

1996 - "The Notebook"

The Notebook
Grand Central Publishing

"The Notebook" is a story within a story. It follows the elderly Noah Calhoun as he reads a story to his wife, who lies bedridden in a nursing home. Reading from a faded notebook, he recounts a story of a couple who are separated by World War II, then passionately reunited years later. As the plot unfolds, Noah reveals that the story he is telling is of himself and his wife, Allie. It is a story of love, loss, and rediscovery for both young and old. In 2004, "The Notebook" was made into a popular movie starring Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, James Garner, and Gena Rowlands.

1998 - "Message in a Bottle"

'Message in a Bottle' by Nicholas Sparks
Grand Central Publishing

Sparks followed "The Notebook" with "Message in a Bottle." It follows Theresa Osborne, who finds a love letter in a bottle on the beach. The letter was written by a man named Garrett to a woman named Annie. Theresa becomes determined to track down Garrett, who wrote the note to express his undying love for the woman he lost. Theresa searches for the answers to the mystery and their lives come together. Sparks has said that the novel was inspired by his own father's grief after Sparks' mother died in a boating accident.

1999 - "A Walk to Remember"

'A Walk to Remember' by Nicholas Sparks
Grand Central Publishing

"A Walk to Remember" follows the story of middle-aged Landon Carter as he recounts his senior year in high school. Carter, the class president, cannot find a date to his senior prom. After poring through his yearbook, he decides to ask out Jamie Sullivan, a minister's daughter. Although they're two very different people, something clicks and a romance develops between the two. But the romance is cut short when Jamie learns she has leukemia.  The novel was inspired by Sparks' sister, who also died of cancer. This book was made into a movie starring Mandy Moore as Jamie and Shane West as Landon.

2000 - "The Rescue"

'The Rescue' by Nicholas Sparks
Grand Central Publishing

"The Rescue" follows single mom Denise Holton and her disabled 4-year-old son Kyle. After moving to a new town, Denise is in a car accident and is rescued by Taylor McAden, a volunteer firefighter. Kyle, however, is missing. As Taylor and Denise begin searching for the boy, they grow closer, and Taylor must confront his own past romantic failures.

2001 - "A Bend in the Road"

'A Bend in the Road' by Nicholas Sparks
Grand Central Publishing

"A Bend in the Road" is a love story between a police officer and a school teacher. The police officer, Miles, lost his wife in a hit-and-run accident, with the driver remaining unknown. He is raising his son alone and Sarah, newly divorced, is his teacher. This story was inspired by what Sparks and his brother-in-law experienced as Sparks' sister was undergoing treatment for cancer.

2002 - "Nights in Rodanthe"

'Nights in Rodanthe' by Nicholas Sparks
Grand Central Publishing

"Nights in Rodanthe" follows Adrienne Willis, a woman who is tending a friend's inn for the weekend in order to escape problems in her life. While there, her only guest is Paul Flanner, a man going through his own crisis of conscience. After a romantic weekend, Adrienne and Paul realize they must leave one another and return to their own lives. The novel was made into a movie starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane. Sad to say, there is no actual inn at Rodanthe.

2003 - "The Guardian"

'The Guardian' by Nicholas Sparks
Grand Central Publishing

"The Guardian" follows a young widow named Julie Barenson and her Great Dane puppy Singer, who was a gift from Julie's husband shortly before he died.  After being single for a few years, Julie meets two men, Richard Franklin and Mark Harris, and develops strong feelings for both. As the plot unfolds, Julie must confront deceptions and jealous emotions, relying on Singer for strength.

2004 - "The Wedding"

The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks
Grand Central Publishing

"The Wedding" is the sequel to ​"The Notebook." It focuses on Allie and Noah Calhoun's oldest daughter, Jane, and her husband, Wilson as they approach their 30th wedding anniversary. Jane and Wilson's daughter asks if she can have her wedding on their anniversary, and Wilson works hard to please his daughter and make up for years of neglect to his wife.

2004 - "Three Weeks with My Brother"

'Three Weeks with My Brother' by Nicholas Sparks
Grand Central Publishing

Nicholas Sparks co-wrote this memoir with his brother Micah, his sole living relative. In their late 30s, the two men take a three-week trip around the world. Along the way, they examine their own relationship as brothers and come to terms with the deaths of their parents and other siblings. 

2005 - "True Believer"

'True Believer' by Nicholas Sparks
Grand Central Publishing

This novel follows Jeremy Marsh, who has made a career out of debunking stories of the paranormal. Marsh travels to a small North Carolina town to investigate a ghost story, where he meets Lexie Darnell. As the two grow close, Marsh must decide whether to stay with the woman he loves or return to his life of luxury in New York City.

2005 - "At First Sight"

'At First Sight' by Nicholas Sparks
Grand Central Publishing

"At First Sight" is the sequel to "True Believer." Having fallen in love, Jeremy Marsh is now engaged to Lexie Darnell, and the two have settled down in Boone Creek, N.C. But their domestic bliss is interrupted when he receives a number of unsettling e-mails from a mysterious sender that threaten their happy future together.

2006 - "Dear John"

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
Grand Central Publishing

"Dear John" is a love story about an army sergeant who falls in love shortly before 9/11. He is inspired to re-enlist, and he receives the dreaded title letter during his deployment. He returns home to find his true love married. The book was made into a movie starring Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried, directed by Lasse Hallstrom.

2007 - "The Choice"

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
Grand Central Publishing

"The Choice" is about Travis Parker, a bachelor enjoying his comfortable single life. But after Gabby Holland moves in next door, Travis becomes smitten with her—even though she already has a longtime boyfriend. As a relationship develops, the pair must confront what true love really means. The book was made into a movie starring Benjamin Walker, Teresa Palmer, Tom Wilkinson, and Maggie Grace.

2008 - "The Lucky One"

'Lucky One' by Nicholas Sparks
Grand Central Publishing

"The Lucky One" is the story of a Logan Thibault, a Marine who discovers a photo of a mysterious smiling woman while on tour in Iraq. Believing that the photo is a good-luck charm, Logan sets off to find the woman in the picture. His search leads him to Elizabeth, a single mom living in North Carolina. They fall in love, but a secret in Logan's past may destroy them. The book was made into a movie starring Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, and Blythe Danner

2009 - "The Last Song"

'The Last Song' by Nicholas Sparks
Grand Central Publishing

In this novel, When Veronica Miller's parent's divorce and her dad moves from New York City to Wilmington, N.C., she becomes angry and estranged from both of them. Two years after the divorce, Veronica's mother decides that she wants her to spend the whole summer with her father in Wilmington. 

2010 - "Safe Haven"

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
Grand Central Publishing

"Safe Haven" is about a woman named Katie who moves to a small North Carolina town to escape her past. She must decide whether she can take the risk of a new relationship with Alex, a widowed father of two boys, or whether she must keep herself safe.

2011 - "The Best of Me"

Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks
Grand Central Publishing

"The Best of Me" is about Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole, two high school sweethearts who are reunited when they return home for a mentor's funeral. As they proceed to honor their mentor's last wishes, Amanda and Dawson rekindle their romance. The book was made into a movie starring James Marsden, Michelle Monaghan, Luke Bracy, and Liana Liberato.

2013 - "The Longest Ride"

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
Grand Central Publishing

"The Longest Ride" moves between two stories, that of an old widower named Ira Levinson and a young college girl named Sophia Danko. After surviving a car crash, Ira is visited by a vision of his dead wife Ruth. Sophia, meanwhile, meets and falls for a cowboy named Luke. As the plot advances, Ira's and Sophia's lives intertwine in unseen ways. Readers have hailed this as one of Sparks' best novels yet.

2015 - "See Me"

See Me by Nicholas Sparks
Grand Central Publishing

"See Me" follows Colin, a young man with anger issues who has been thrown out of his home by his cold and distant parents. Colin soon encounters Maria, a woman whose loving home environment could not be more different than Colin's. As the two slowly fall in love, Maria begins receiving anonymous messages that could wreck her romance.

2016 - "Two by Two"

"Two by Two" by Nicholas Sparks
Grand Central Publishing

Sparks' 2016 novel follows Russell Green, a 30-something man who appears to have his life on track with a beautiful wife and adoring young daughter. But Green's life is soon upended when his wife decides to leave him and their child behind in pursuit of a new career. Green must quickly adapt to life as a single father while learning to rely on others to help him get by. As with all Sparks novels, there's a romance, too, as Russell reconnects with a former girlfriend and sparks fly.

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Miller, Erin Collazo. "Nicholas Sparks Book List." ThoughtCo, Aug. 4, 2017, thoughtco.com/nicholas-sparks-book-list-362099. Miller, Erin Collazo. (2017, August 4). Nicholas Sparks Book List. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/nicholas-sparks-book-list-362099 Miller, Erin Collazo. "Nicholas Sparks Book List." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/nicholas-sparks-book-list-362099 (accessed November 18, 2017).