Before we get too far along in this article, let's establish a few thing: 1) I am a Star Wars junkie, the novels are my version of crack, and George Lucas (technically Lucas Film Limited) is my dealer, 2) unless it has Infinities logo, it's cannon, and 3) I don't know everything there is to know about Star Wars, but I know a lot.
Anyone that knows me has probably seen me at one time or another with a Star Wars book in my hand. I grew up on the original Star War trilogy, but did not get completely addicted until after the release of Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Like many people, I was disappointed by the movie, but it sparked my interest in the universe all the same. Back in high School I had read Timothy Zahn's Dark Force Rising and was completely enthralled, but for some reason I didn't read the rest of his trilogy of novels (known as the Thrawn Trilogy). Until a few years ago, I didn't read that many books. You could probably count the number of books I had read by the time I was 20 on two hands.
After seeing Episode I, I decided to get caught up with the Galaxy Far, Far Away (or GFFA for short) and picked up three books -- the novelization of Episode I, Steve Perry's Shadow's of the Empire (which take place between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi), and Zahn's The Last Command (the finale of the Thrawn Trilogy). That's all it took, I was hooked. Since then I have read around 20 different Star Wars novels 4 comic book graphic novels, and countless SW web pages and timelines.
I'm often asked by people, "what book should I start with?" I've gained such a reputation at work that the other day someone stopped me and said "What's your name? You know a lot about Star Wars right?" (I'm sure the SW ball cap that I wear doesn't help things at all, but what can I say, I embrace my nerdiness). So I decided to compile a list, based on something I posted on TheForce.net's message boards and books I have read. Below is that list. I've also included a few notable links to some different SW web sites that I have found to be very informative. I hope this helps you on your journey into the GFFA. Happy reading.