HANDS down, my favorite author of all time is Nicholas Sparks. I have never read a book by him that I didn't like and I have never read a book that I didn't cry in.
I can say though, with all his books being made into movies, that his books are by far the best. His books have more in them and definitely would be my first choice if I had to read the book first or watch the movie! I want to get all out of the book first and then watch the movie!