I've interviewed book club leaders who have had years of experience running clubs.When Kelly Kelpfer told me she belonged to a book club her daughter, Juliana, started I knew then she would have a fresh outlook on clubs and I had to interview her for my column.

I’ve worked with Kelly Klepfer on Novel Reviews and had gotten to know her better through her blog, Scrambled Dregs. (You never know what she’ll be talking about next! She often cracks me up with her pictures and YouTube clips. I learn things about dogs, books, and her unique recipes.) Kelly wears many hats. She does interviews for Novel Journey blog, is in the process of writing a book, works full time, and raises a family; I’m still uncovering her many talents. So without further adieu, here’s Kelly’s bio—I know you will love her as much as I do.

Kelly Klepfer BIO: She participates in the Sherwood Book Club run by her daughter, Julianna. Kelly blogs for Novel Reviews, Novel Journey, and her own blog, Scrambled Dregs, where no one knows what’s coming next—even Kelly. Julianna appears regularly on the Dregs as 22 (previously known as 21). Julianna owns Lily and Lola, who are pretty much the stars of the Dregs. Both ladies live in Iowa, love to read, and love to laugh. The book club seemed like a fabulous combination of good talks, laughs, and hanging out with people who like to read. We’ve been meeting a year and have covered current fiction to older nonfiction classics. Can’t wait to see what we read next.

JULIANNA KELPFER'S BIO:Lives in Iowa with her two hairy children, Lily and Lola. (Boxer and Lab mix hounds.) She is head of Women's Ministries at her church and helps in Wednesday and Sunday childrens' ministries. Julianna loves Jesus, drinking coffee, the taste of chocolate, walking, reading and scream-laughing, and tries to incorporate as many as these at once into everything she does. The book club came out of her love of books and the romance behind discussing a great Jane Austen novel. Her dream is to do a book club trip...ideally to Europe or back in time.

Nora asked Kelly - Hey girl, What are your thoughts on Book Clubs as a church open event or a small group:

(Kelly) I've discovered that talking about what someone else has written/read is almost non-threatening and becomes a terrific way for people to discuss differences and similarities in their lives. I would recommend a book club as a small group idea, or a way to get to know a group of people better.


Why did you want to start a book club? What is the appeal to you?

A: It all started when I watched a movie about a book club. I loved the thought of getting together, reading and discussing the things that stirred us about each book. The appeal mostly, for me, is I love getting to know people and their thoughts, and I thought for a group of Christians, what better way to challenge our beliefs. I also, shortly after viewing the movie, had a conversation with a friend about two books he had just finished and recommended that I read them. I decided to invite others to read and recommend books and get together to discuss them…thus the book club was born.

Had you ever been involved with a book club before you decided to run one?

A: No, but like stated previously the thought of being in a club sounded appealing.

How do you decide on what books you were going to read? Does your group read sequels?

A: Our first meeting consisted of a list of books we all compiled and then each meeting there after we decided who would be the “host” of the club so they pick the next book. We all, as a group, share input of what book to read next but usually the “host” picks the book for that month. We try to change authors every book so we get a wide variety of thoughts and genres’ so that everyone is stretching their mind.

What influences you most in deciding on a book to read?

A: We’ll often choose books usually somebody has read in the club. So they come highly recommended. Or we sometimes chose a new one or one that has received a lot of attentions or maybe not…we really discuss it as a group and decide what sounds good that month.

Where do you all meet for book club? How did you decide on that spot?

A: The “host” of the month gets to choose locations they have varied from coffee shops, homes, parks and even ice cream shops. We all pick a spot and go from there.

What books received lively discussions from your group? What made the books a success with your group?

A: We have chosen a few “controversial” books that have challenged our thoughts and beliefs. The Shack and Screwtape Letters are two that have received lots of discussion and questions. I think the more the book breaks us out of our comfort box the more discussion it receives.

How did you recruitt book club members? What were you looking for?

A: I sent out a letter stating that I would like to start a book club anyone who liked to read could attend the informational meeting. I was looking for a group of people who could learn from one another.

Was there any one book that changed your life (i.e. spiritually, emotionally etc)? IF so, what was the book? How did it change you?

A: Screwtape Letters though written quite awhile ago contains just as much truth today than ever. It made me realize that Satan really is the great deceiver. C.S. Lewis writes this book as an account of a head demon Screwtape, and his nephew Wormwood, and the letters they write back and forth about the “patient” whom Wormwood is currently misleading . It really opened my eyes to the areas in my life where I am being deceived.

What first grabs you about a book? Title? Cover? What makes you pick it up and read it?

A: The cover usually grabs my attention first., I seem to be attracted to the bright covers! ( : Then it is usually the subject and the first chapter is important I will start a book and not finish it if I am not enthralled by chapter one.

What influences your decision most when deciding to read a book? Friends?, Blogs? Reviews? Book Cover? Book Trailers? Advertising? What hooks you?

A: Usually it is recommendations from others. If they love it I will read it.

Does the size of the book detour you from reading it for book club? What are your requirements in choosing a book for your group?

A: The size doesn’t deter us but it may result in less people finishing it. We have seen that a time or two, where it doesn’t get finished due to the size. We have people at different mile markers in their spiritual walk, some just starting, others well-conditioned. So at this point we are choosing books with a spiritual theme whether fiction or non-fiction.

I've just heard about your book club and might want to come, can you please describe to me what I can expect at your book club meeting?

A: Well, you will find a home, room, picnic blanket or coffee shop filled with a diverse group of people, young and old, parents and singles, new believers and old believers but the common theme is our love for Christ and desire to not stay comfortable. We open with the “host” sharing some questions about the book and our thoughts and we just open the floor, sometimes we bunny trail, and sometimes disagree but we are always respectful. We usually have snacks somewhere in the mix, food and books are always good together! ( :


1. Do you use book marks (you know the official beautifully decorated kind)? If not, what do you use? (slips of paper, dog ear pages, use something out of the ordinary)?

A: I dog ear, underline, highlight; pretty much abuse my books. I also have this giant paperclip that I got for a dollar that I usually use to mark my spot.

2. Hardback or paperback? Does it make a difference? If money isn't an issue, which do you prefer to read?

A: Usually we can find books in both options. I did offer some money savings suggestions to my group. They can shop thrift stores, garage sales, used book stores and also I encourage them to use local and church libraries, and if nothing else share the book. I prefer holding a soft cover.

3. What were your favorite books you read as a kid?

Are you my mother, Berenstein Bears series, collected them all and still have them, Doctor DeSoto a dentist who was a mouse, Bailey School Kids (mythical characters being everyday people) and Box Car Children read them every night as a family.

4. As a child what movie most impacted you? Why?

Benji, it took me months to finish the movie. The scene where a bad guy kicks the little white dog broke my heart and I refused to finish the movie. My mom tried to convince me to watch it, that it ended happy, but I just couldn't do it. Finally, after several months I decided to finish it and was happy to see the little dog was okay!

5. Did you have any TV shows your were passionate about as a kid? You know the ones that you just couldn't miss?

Power Rangers watched it every day my best friend who was my neighbor would come over and ask me to play and I would always tell her when I am done watching Power Rangers.

6. What's the last movie you saw at the theatre? Did you like it? What snacks did you eat if any?

A: Bedtime Stories, yes it was funny and cute and a creative story line. Yes, I had sour patch kids, sweet tarts and hot tamales.

7. You are in a life threatening situation and need someone to save your life? Who would you pick? (it can be anyone from characters in a book, movies, to real life).

A: Jesus would be my first choice for HE ALONE can do it.

But for fun it would be Mr. Darcy, preferably in the rain or fog, and he would ride up, or walk up, or drive up, really that doesn’t matter. Mr. Darcy.

8. If you had 48 hours to hang out with anyone dead or alive in the history of the world; what TWO people would you pikc and why? What would you do?

A: Jesus I think just seeing Him would be…humbling. To spend a day with Him like the disciples would be unbelievable. But one day I will see Him and it will be forever and that is beautiful.

Also, Jane Austen, she fascinates me I love her stories yet she never married. Which character is her if one is, or are they all? So many unanswered questions.

9. If you had all the time in the world (and just as much money), to do anything you wanted, what would you do? Why?

A: I would travel the world. I would talk to people and share with them the good news, and that they have a Savior who is very fond of them, if only they knew and if only they would choose HIM.

10. O,k, here is a question from a book my daughter is reading - these are just fun - go with it.
"Live with someone who insists that every electric devise in your home be controled by those "clap on, clap off" devices OR Live with someone that insists every piece of furniture have plastice covers on it? Enquiring minds want to know?

A: Clap on, clap off definitely think of all the time I would save, and plastic covers with Iowa’s humidity= NOT GOOD!

Any final thoughts Julianna,words you'd like to throw out there for other book club leaders just starting out that might be helpful? Suggestions - things to avid?

A: I think respect is key we don’t have to agree but you need to be kind. That is one thing we have not had to really deal with but it is a good reminder for us all. Get a nice diverse group of people, and snacks, and you will be good to go.

Any Final Comments You Would Like to Leave My Readers With, Kelly?
Yes, I'd like to comment on Book Clubs as a church open event or a small group:

(Kelly) I've discovered that talking about what someone else has written/read is almost non-threatening and becomes a terrific way for people to discuss differences and similarities in their lives. I would recommend a book club as a small group idea, or a way to get to know a group of people better.

THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing your book club and daugther with me Kelly. It's ALWAYS a PLEASURE to talk to you and work with you. I'm thankful the Lord brought us together.

Blessings on all you do friend. Now if you're ever in Atlanta we'll have to do lunch and book club!!

Check out these locations on the web to find out more about Kelly Kelpfer.

Nora :D


  1. Hey, Krazy Klepfer! Great interview. I loved Screwtape Letters. Lewis sure pegged the old devil when he wrote, "Never attack Christians when they are in the valley. Always attack when they're on the mountaintop."

    Boy, that's good defensive info for us. :D

  2. Great interview, Nora! Love these pics. You really have a way of showing personality as you introduce us to people.

    I love Sour Patch Kids too. :-)

  3. Hey!! Kelly and Juliana are famous!! Great interview of some fabulous ladies! Good job, Nora!

  4. Thanks for the interview Nora. It was great comparing what they do for book club with what we do. Thanks!