I wonder why you would like to follow the advice of a book you DON'T recommend, :) but anyway, learning from good code is not a bad idea.
You may start with the most famous modules. If they seem to be too hard for you - especially if they are big - then look for their author on CPAN, pick a smaller module that they have written and study it thoroughly. Then, come back to the big one.
You may continue with a Super Search in the Monastery. Look for "RFC" in titles and CPAN in the text. This way you'll see what the Monks are proposing to publish on CPAN. You won't get everything, but OTOH you don't have time to read everything, so it should be a good start.
My personal advice is to start with the modules that, in addition to good code, have also good documentation, without which any good code will soon fade into oblivion.
See Looking for Mr. Good Documentation! for some hints on well documented modules.
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