Phew, yeah I'm a big Star Wars fan. And I must say the books are the most entertaining part. Sure, I own both trilogies on DVD and I love the movies, but what the authors manage to invent in the expanded universe is just more than great.
Actually I don't like George Lucas at all. I really don't. I'm very thankful for the movies and that he created that whole thing, but that's it.
The message alone that "he has HIS Star Wars" and the authors got their "expanded universe" is something that bugs me. I could really see the books getting made into movies - because, yeah, they are simply awesome.
Okay, so I read and own
Darth Bane - Path of Destrucion
The whole Jedi Apprentice Series. // (20 volumes)
Secrets of the Jedi
The Rise and Fall of Darth Vader
Darth Maul - Shadow Hunter
Episode I - The Phantom Menace
The Approaching Storm
Episode II - Attack of the Clones
The Cestus Deception
Yoda: Dark Rendezvous
Labyrinth of Evil
Episode III - Revenge of the Sith Dark Lord - The Rise of Darth Vader
The whole Last of the Jedi Series // (10 volumes) The Force Unleashed The Han Solo Adventures // (3 Volumes)
Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina
Tales from Jabba's Palace
Thrawn Trilogy - Heir to the Empire
Thrawn Trilogy - Dark Force Rising // <<< READING ATM
The whole New Jedi Order series // (19 volumes) <<< THE BEST SERIES
The Dark Nest Trilogy
Legacy of the Force 1 - Betrayal
Legacy of the Force 2 - Bloodlines
Legacy of the Force 3 - Tempest Yeah, that's about it_._ There are A LOT of books I still have to own, and except the books of Jude Watson they are all worth it.
It's still enough to say that I know a lot about Star Wars. Jude Watson's Series "Jedi Apprentice", "Jedi Quest" and "Last of the Jedi" are NOT BAD (don't get me wrong), but she has a boring style to build her novels. It's almost always the same.
I started 1999 with Episode I, bought Episode II in 2004 and then it was like fever. In those novels are so many interesting things, so much fun - and the best thing - the original Star Wars Charme, y'know what I mean?
A friend borrowed me the first New Jedi Order-Book and I refused to read it. A year and a half after that I bought it and simply ATE the whole series. New Jedi Order is unbelievably good and worth every .. eh .. buck. (It's Euro for me 8P).
Unfortunately I'm reading everything in german, which I will end in the coming years. I have to wait soooo long for the books. The 4th Legacy of the Force is coming out in September, while the USA is 3 "arcs" away. It's a shame. But the translation is good after all.
I really would like to buy the comics, because some of them are just awesome. But I don't want to spend TOO much money on that, and it's impossible for me to own EVERYTHING. But I can recommend them, because I read a few.
And I own the 2 DVDs of the Clone Wars Comic Series. I was totally hyped about the ANIMATED series (and they managed to bring them on TV in europe) but it's CRAP. It's just crap. The stories and facts are making no sense at all, and so I am in camp "Expanded Universe" now, where people are writing stuff that's really worth reading, while George Lucas is totally after the money.
And I recommend wookieepedia.com for any information on novels and just everything about Star Wars.
And if you're going to start reading Star Wars novels, try something classic like the novels of the movies. Because my favourite series NJO is the best, but it starts 25 years after Episode IV and you'd be totally WTF at that point.