I read on Facebook that Paul S. Kemp will be writing a new Star Wars Expanded Universe novel about Darth Vader and Palpatine/Sidious. (Due out May 2015 IIRC.) As someone who has a little Darth Sidious action figure sitting next to my desk lamp at work, that makes me happy.
That also got me excited about what other Star Wars novels are out there. I tried to read some of the ones that took place after the original movies, but they were part of a long, convoluted series, so I didn't get far.
Still, I know the Star Wars novels range from "OMG never let that person near Star Wars again..." to "Ooh, ooh, you should read this even if you hate media fiction!"
So what Star Wars books would you recommend? Especially to someone who wants to plunge into the universe again, but doesn't really want to read a 20-volume Extended Universe miniseries?