Barbara Rinella, a former teacher, defines herself as an “academic entertainer.” For many years she has been celebrating literature and learning through her delightful programs on current books. New for Winter, 2018,and Spring 2019, is a wonderful “Tribute to Barbara Bush,” our 41st First Lady, who left us April 17, 2018, holding hands with the love of her life, George H. W. Bush! This new program will be based on two terrific books written by their grandchildren: George and Barbara Bush, A Great American Love Story by Granddaughter, Ellie LeBlond Sosa and Kelly Anne Chase, and Sisters First by Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush! Barbara Rinella is still doing her fabulous program on Ulysses S. Grant and his wife Julia, based on a wonderful historical novel, Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule by Jennifer Chiaverini. Barbara is also still highlighting the Royals, with enlightening stories from  Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life by gifted historical author Sally Bedell Smith and, of course, cheers for Meghan and Prince Harry based on Meghan, The Hollywood Princess by Andrew Morton! Barbara is still bringing to life Where the Light Falls, A Novel of the French Revolution by Allison Pataki and Owen Pataki. This terrific combination of dynamic historical and fictional characters make the challenges of the quest for Liberty, Equality and Fraternity come truly to life–Vive La France! Barbara’s other current program is a dramatization of The Hamilton Affair by Elizabeth Cobbs! With all the excitement and fascination of Alexander Hamilton’s contributions, struggles and historical significance set to music in the Broadway hit, it makes sense to focus on Hamilton’s history, his wife, Eliza, her challenges and the love of our country by our Founding Fathers!  Ms. Rinella also gives a current list of her “favorite reads” at each program. Contact information and her updated reading list are given below.






Phone: (847) 251-1164

Programs Open to the Public:


















Nov. 13, Little Traveler, Geneva, IL,9:00am.Program: The Hamilton Affair. Contact: Sandra Fisher 630-232-4200

Nov. 13, 2018 St. Catherine Laboure, Glenview. 7:00pm. Program: Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule. Contact Cathy Kee 847-724-0170 or

Nov. 16, 2018, Maine Township, Park Ridge. 7:00pm. Program: Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule. Contact: Monica 847-297-2510 x252

Nov. 29, 2018 Platinum Adventures, Sunset Ridge Country Club. 11:30am. Program: Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule Contact: Allison Stewart 847-482-8488

Dec. 4, 2018 Neighbors of Kenilworth, Kenilworth Club. 1:00pm. Program: Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule Contact: Kate Peterson 847-251-6557 or

Dec. 5, 2018 Neighbors of Kenilworth, Kenilworth Club. 6:00pm. Program: Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule Contact: Kate Peterson 847-251-6557 or

Feb. 13, 2019 Hunters Run Country Club, Boynton Beach, FL. 11:00am. Program: TBD Contact: Rivie Andrews 847-751-4300 or

March 20, 2019 Blake Library Stuart, FL. 3:30pm. Program: Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule Contact:George Seaman 772-463-2895 or

April 6, 2019 Luther Village, Arlington Heights. Time: TBD Program: TBD Contact:Diane Beyer 847-670-7200 or

April 17, 2019 Plymouth Place, LaGrange. Time:10:30am and 2:00pm Program:TBD Contact:Janet McDermed 708-579-2012 or

April 24, 2019 Platinum Adventures Elgin State Bank Biaggi’s in Algonquin. Time 1:00pm Program:TBD Contact: Kimberly Knes 847-888-7979 or


Non Fiction:

  1. Grant,  Ron Chernow
  2. Prince Charles:The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life, Sally Bedell Smith
  3. Megan, A Hollywood Princess, Andrew Morton
  4. Harry, Life, Loss and Love, Katie Nicholl
  5. Fly Girls, How 5 Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History, Keith O’Brien
  6. In the Eye of the Hurricane, Nathaniel Philbrick
  7. Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8, Robert Kurson
  8. The Break Away, The Untold Story of the Chicago Blackhawks; Wirtz Family, Bryan Smith
  9. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, Ashlee Vance
  10. Beauty in the Broken Places, a memoir by Allison Pataki (coming May 1st, 2018)
  11. Collision Course, Classic Story of Collision of Andrea Doria & The Stockholm, Alvin Moscow
  12. First Women,The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies and The Residence, Inside the Private World of the White House, Kate Andersen Brower
  13. George and Barbara Bush, A Great American Love Story, Ellie LeBlond Sosa & Kelly Anne Chase
  14. Sisters First, Jenna Bush Hager & Barbara Pierce Bush
  15. Alexander Hamilton, Ron Chernow
  16. The News Sorority, Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Christiane Amanpour–and the Triumph of Women in TV News, Sheila Weller
  17. Elizabeth the Queen,The Life of a Modern Monarch,  Sally Bedell Smit
  18. Hero of the Empire, The Boer War,a Daring Escape and the Making of Winston Churchill, Candice Millard
  19. Finding the Dragon Lady,The Mystery of  Vietnam’s Madame Nhu, Monique Brinson Demery
  20. Hillbilly Elegy,A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, J.D. Vance
  21. Make Your Bed, Admiral William H. McRaven
  22. The Wright Brothers , The Path Between the Seas and The American Spirit, David McCullough
  23. Catherine, the Great: Portrait of a Woman,  Robert K. Massie
  24. Educated, A Memoir, Tara Westover
  25. Let’s Roll: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage, Lisa Beamer
  26. The Good Son: JFK Jr. and the Mother He Loved, Christopher Andersen
  27. Not in Front of the Corgis, Secrets of Life Behind the Royal Curtains, Brian Hoey
  28. What Your Dog’s Breed Says About You, Jo Hoare
  29. Coco Chanel,An Intimate Life, Lisa Chaney
  30. The Chicago Picasso, Patricia Balton Stratton
  31. Sisters & Champions, The True Story of Venus and Serena Williams, Howard Bryant (young readers)
  32. Alexander Hamilton, The Outsider, Jean Fritz (middle school)
  33. Aaron and Alexander, The Most Famous Duel in American History, Don Brown (Young Readers)
  34. Harmony, A Vision for Our Future, The Prince of Wales(Young Readers)


  1. Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule, Jennifer Chiaverini
  2. Where the Light Falls, A Novel of the French Revolution  by Allison Pataki and Owen Pataki
  3. The Traitor’s Wife, The Accidental Empress & Sisi, The Empress on Her Own, Allison Pataki
  4. The Hamilton Affair, Elizabeth Cobbs
  5. Unconditional Surrender, The Romance of Julia and Ulysses S. Grant, Patricia Cameron
  6. Circe, Madeline Miller
  7. The Perfect Couple, Elin Hilderbrand
  8. When Life Gives You Lululemons, Lauren Weisberger
  9. The Great Alone, Kristin Hannah
  10. Woman in the Window, A. J. Finn
  11. Pachinko, Min Jin Lee
  12. The Swans of Fifth Avenue and Girls in the Picture, Melanie Benjamin
  13. The Girl from BerlinKarolina’s Twins, Saving Sophie,  and Once We Were Brothers, Ronald H. Balson
  14. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid
  15. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, Lisa See
  16. Manhattan Beach, Jennifer Egan
  17. Warlight, Michael Ondaatje
  18. Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine, Gail Honeyman
  19. A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility, Amor Towles
  20. All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr (Winner of Pulitzer Prize 2015)
  21. The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah
  22. The Woman in the Castle, Jessica Shattuck
  23. Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders
  24. Mademoiselle Chanel: A Novel, C. W. Gortner
  25. The Fortune Hunter, Daisy Goodwin
  26. Wonder, R.J. Palacio (young readers or adults)
  27. Millie’s Book, As Dictated to Barbara Bush
  28. The Story Orchestra, The Nutcracker, Illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle (music)
  29. A Raid of No Return, Nathan Hales (Young Readers)
  30. Sudi, The Little Black and White Striped Zebra, Susanne Fruehauf (young readers)
  31. Our Great Big BackyardRead All About It, Laura Bush and Jenna Bush Hager (young readers)
  32. Tomorrow I’ll Be BRAVE, Jessica Hische (children’s book)
  33. Poems to Learn by Heart and A Family of Poems, Caroline Kennedy

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