Let me open by saying that I wasn't entirely sure how to ask this question and stay on topic. This is my best attempt. I do believe this question will help other writers.
As an author, I want to read a lot. I don't want to read just anything though. There's some content I don't want. Beyond that, I obviously don't want to read books that are poor examples of characterization, plotting, stakes, etc. Then there's the vague 'well written' requirement.
Aside from the obvious desire to not read poorly done works, I mimic what I read to a high degree. I can control my mimicry to a certain extent, but I don't want to have bad writing in the back of my mind while I am creating my future bestsellers. (What? Optimism is good.) It should be noted that I see my mimicry as a useful ability, and not something to be gotten rid of.
This mindset on reading has given rise to the situation I now find myself in: reading the same small collection of excellently written books over and over. I feel like I need to expand my horizons without damaging my writing.
Note: Do not confuse the question. I'm not looking for writing I can mimic. I'm simply looking for examples of good writing. The main goal is simply to not have bad writing in my head while I write.
The problem: Doing this is easier said than done. I've found plenty of passionate recommendations on this site alone, but they always seem to be followed by equally passionate criticisms of the same book. I've tried searching for the novel equivalent of the iMDB, and I've found a few results, but these websites usually have only half or fewer of the books I look up. Wikipedia gives the plot and isn't really the best place for discerning the level of writing of a particular novel. For a time I watched the NYT Bestsellers List, but I quickly discovered that a lot of what I considered 'low quality' writing was on that list.
The question: What can I do? How can I locate novels that are known for being well done?
P.S. Obviously a lot depends on my definition of 'well done,' so I'm mainly looking for a breakdown of novels, without revealing the plot.