I thought I'd start things off by pointing out a few sites, book, and such which I have found useful in expanding and assisting my reading world.
One book which I have found pretty handy is Cult Fiction by Calcutt and Sheppard. This really well done book is a fantastic in road to some of the more unusual avenues of fiction. There are many well known authors here but there are also just as many (if not more) lesser know writers. For each author a brief bio, quick overview of their writing, must reads, and similar authors are all supplied. I don't generally go for reader's advisory books because they don't tend to hit on anything I haven't already read or heard of before, but this one does a great job on mentioning some more obscure writers.
LibraryThing is a wonderful site which I use to keep track of all of my books. I can’t recommend this site enough. I’ve tried other cataloguing sites but LT does it the best with the best attitude. Unlike some sites it’s not free in its unlimited form, but $10 a year or $25 for life is extremely reasonable for all this site has to offer. As I said, there are other sites and will point some of those out in later posts, but this is the best.
If you're looking to explore genre fiction, then you must check out Fantastic Fiction. FF is also a great site for people who are completests. For each author they list FF shows a complete bibliography. For most they give the author’s country of origin and for some they offer a brief bio.
Next comes Complete Review. CR is an excellent site. It focuses mostly on serious fiction/literature and when it covers an author, it does so thoroughly. CR gives a short bio of each author along with brief reviews from multiple sources, a complete bibliography, and various other useful bits.
Of course now that the New York Times is completely free online, it’s always a good idea to check out their reviews for newer books.
If you’re interested in reading a book online Project Gutenberg is really the only place to go. Thousands of public domain books are available at PG for free. What’s even more incredible is that many of the books PG offers also have audio versions available on site and these are also free.
I think that's enough to get things started. If you have other great sites you'd like to share, let us know.