It's been quite a while since I've read a Star Wars book, but I would like start reading them again. The problem is I don't know where to start. I've read every single book up to the Vision of the Future, with the exceptions being Books 5 through 9 in the X-Wing Series and the Bounty Hunter Wars series.

What books should I start with now? The NJO series or the old books I haven't read... or the ones based on Episode I characters?

Also, since its been a while and its bugging me because I don't remember... what did Luke and Mara discover the Hand of Thrawn to be? I know they found the Chiss there, but that is all I can remember form that. And what was the story behind the guy Talon was so afraid of?