I've taken SAT twice and improved my CR score from 460 on PSAT to 640 on SAT. So I've basically worked my butt off. Here are books I used (or knew about) and my comment:
*BLUE BOOK - Rock on; Great practices BUT no tips/techniques
*Princeton's Reading and Writing Workbook - Terrible, terrible, terrible
*Rocket Review - I read this book through on bookstore and internet (if you look carefully, there is an internet site that provides good amounts of this book); it's pretty good with methods like Instant Message for paragraph but I never really used them. So this is tough call.
*Grammatix - This is no longer available. I don't have it with me now but if you ask around privately to some people, they might be able to send it to you. This was supposed to be God on CR but it didn't work with me entirely because my score only jumped from 460 to 560. But then some say this guide brought their score dramatically so again, it depends on person.
*Barron's Critical Reading Workbook & Barron's 2400: Former one is VERY nice. This book increased my score from 560 to 640, and I have to say that there isn't any better book out there than this one. It doesn't offer tips but just practices, practices, and once you did enough of them, you should be in pretty good shape. Latter is somewhat "preview" of former book, and although it's good, it's not great. If you don't have much time to do millions of practice, get this book. If not, get former.
*Kaplan: Many know this already. Stupid waste of money as PR
*McGrawHill's: I only went some of this book. Pretty good I say. Better than Kaplan, PR
, and Barron 2400, but I'm not completely sure how it is compare to Barron's Critical Reading Workbook.
Now, above were focused on CR parts for reading passage. But reading passage is NOT only part of SAT. For instance, in January SAT 2007, passage was easy while vocabulary was pretty difficult (and many lost score here). So here are my recommendations for vocabulary:
*Sparknotes 1000 Frequent Words: This is all you need.
*Princeton Hit Parade: If your vocabulary was weak like me, start with this (comes with Princeton Review book).
Barron's 3500 words: People say this is a waste of time. I never tried it.
*TestMaster's 2000 list: This is NOT available to people who didn't take class. However, internet's amazing thing and I've seen people asking for this in here. Who knows, you might get lucky.
Hope this helped. I'm better at explaining books than actually getting high score but :-D, my conclusion is drawn from personal experience and reading couple thousands of internet pages (and I'm not joking when I say thousand; I basically read almost every one thread in CC after I joined).