What literary or structural features are within the context of Judges 1? I'm finding this chapter exceedingly difficult to come to grips with in relation to the rest of the book. Are there any books or good reading material which you think may help?
Contemporary Biblical Hermeneutics, by Manfred Oeming is a thorough introduction to hermeneutic methods, covering a wide range of approaches, from the historical-critical method to canonical exegesis and almost everything in between. It won't make you an expert, and may be challenging if you have no prior experience in exegesis, but there are few better introductory texts.
This review says, "On the whole, Oeming’s discussion of individual tools of interpretation is well done. He offers good introductions, comments on advantages and disadvantages of each approach, and offers mostly helpful examples from a variety of biblical texts. "
As for a brief exegesis of Judges, I could recommend a paper by Jo Ann Hackett - “There Was No King in Israel”: The Era of the Judges, published in The Oxford History of the Biblical World.