Re: Good jazz books
Anthony pretty much said everything. Listening is the key. The best jazz drummers (musicians in general really) are always listening. They are aware of everything that's going on bar by freaking bar. The only way to develop this is by listening to a literal ton of records, seeing cats playing live and of course playing with people. I try to look at jam sessions as free jazz lessons, you get to see people play, you learn new tunes, and you get to play with new people and one of two things will happen: they are better than you and they'll make you sweat if you're not listening or they won't be better than you and you'll have to listen to figure out how to make them sound good, both cases are incredibly rewarding experiences.
For the heavy and too much kick and crashes comments I would recommend just going back to the basics, take your ride apart and focus on making that spanalang as swinging as possible, play along to max roach, philly joe, charlie dunlop, roy haynes and art blakey records and try to match that swing.
As for books, I have all of Riley's and I think they're amazing, filled with not only great exercises but a ton of valuable info. I've heard nothing but great things about Essense of Jazz Drumming and I'm planning on buying it soon. I'm gonna recommend Art Blakey's Jazz Messages by John Ramsay, a very in depth analysis of Blakey's playing and it has also has great little stories about Art.
Also don't even think about giving up Thaard, you are a killer player!