It's a completely selfish task, but each year I publish a list of books I'm using as inspiration or research for my NaNo novel. It's a good place to start, especially when you only have a nebulous blob of a story forming and in need of some direction.
Fargo Rock City by Chuck Klosterman
That strange, liminal space between 80s metal and 90s grunge? I mine that often. Early 90s small town, all this "culture" happening but it's largely unavailable you is stasis for me. My teen years overlapped the two decades (I'm just a few years younger than Klosterman), and while I don't feel any sort of sentimental tug, it's a part of who I am.
Burnt Tongues - Chuck Palahniuk, ed.
This is an anthology of transgressive fiction I've been wanting to read for a few weeks now. I don't "go there" often, but I admire those who do.
Treasure Island!!! by Sara Levine
For an example of a completely unlikable female character who I still manage to find charming.
Without A Net: The Female Experience of Growing Up Working Class - Michelle Tea, ed.
This is one of the best anthologies of working-class womanhood. Actually, it might be the only one. Either way, this books is pretty hard to find now (my library no longer has a copy), but I still wouldn't hesitate to recommend it given that the intersection of feminism and class is woefully under-explored.