Struggling with a Bookclub Read
As an avid reader I always have at least one book going. BUT it is always a book I have opted to read. I like the idea of a book club to discuss a book, but just can't get excited about someone else ( or a group of someones) picking my next read. So I have avoided joining one. I have however joined a writer's group, having a group generated prompt of what to write about is far less restrictive.
Also an avid reader and also have avoided book clubs for the same reason of not wanting to follow the tastes of someone (often self-appointed) who thinks they know what people should read. Sinilarly, too, I participate in the occasional writers' group and also for the same reasons - they don't tell me what to write but they do encourage, critically review, and prompt. All that said, I enjoy Henry James.
I read a lot of older books, and the style of writing before 1900 or so was very florid. Some authors were better about it (Mark Twain, for example, is still quite readable), but many wrote in a style that is almost impenetrable today. So good luck, and keep plugging away at it.
We've had mixed results with book clubs. A couple of them have been great, while another hasn't been so good. Variety is good, so we always look to see what the clubs are reading (even if we are not members) and occasionally find a great read that way. We always have a couple of books going -- and an audiobook for road trips.