Book Dramatist

Barbara Rinella


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 Fall/Winter, 2016, is a timely program entitled, "A Tribute to Nancy Reagan and Recent First Ladies!" with wonderful historical information from First Women, The Grace and Power of American's Modern First Ladies by Kate Andersen Brower and Killing Reagan by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard! .Other new programs include dynamic presentations of The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin and Paula McLain's novel Circling the Sun about Beryl Markham, the first woman to fly solo East to West! Barbara is still getting raves for her dramatization of Allison Pataki's fantastic second novel, The Accidental Empress. Powerful, beautiful Empress Elizabeth of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Hapsburgs will come to life for more wonderful historical fiction, based on "juicy history." Of course, a "shout out" will be given for Allison Pataki's brand new novel, Sisi, The Empress on Her Own, as the story continues! Barbara is also getting cheers for her program on The News Sorority, Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Christiane Amanpour--and the Triumph of Women in TV News by Sheila Weller. Respect, appreciation, competition, envy and differences will emerge as one gets to know the Big Three Sorority Girls! Ms. Rinella continues to present her wonderful program on Elizabeth the Queen, The Life of a Modern Monarch by Sally Bedell Smith. Please pay homage to spectacular Queen Elizabeth II, who in 2015, broke Queen Victoria's record to become the longest reigning British Monarch ever and who turned 90 on April 21, 2016, the oldest Queen in history! Of course, groups are still requesting "A Visit with Coco Chanel," based on Lisa Chaney's biography! 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:       

February 2, 2017 The Little Club, 100 Little Club Road, Gulf Stream, Florida, Evening Event. Program: Recent First Ladies. Contact: Colin Cage 561-278-1010 or

February 10, 2017 Lost Tree 11520 Lost Tree Way, North Palm Beach, Florida, 3:00p. Program TBD. Contact Martha McNeil 561-626-1614

March 20, 2017 Blake Library 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart, Florida 2:00p. Program: The Swans of Fifth Avenue. Contact: Darlene Encomio 772-219-4908 or *tickets required available March 6 for pick up between 4:00-6:00p at the Library.

April 5, 2017 Private Bank Group at Silver Lake CC 14700 South 82nd Avenue, Orland Park, 1:00p. Program: The News Sorority. Contact Christine Andrews 708-671-2343 or

April 6, 2017 Northbrook Book Group Location:TBD. 1:00p. Program: TBD. Contact Judith Connolly 773-631-6788 or

April 7, 2017 Maine Township 1700 Ballard, Park Ridge. 10:00a. Program:TBD. Contact Mary Swanson 847-297-2510 xt 240 or

April 11, 2017 Platinum Adventures Location:Ruth Lake Country Club 6200 S Madison, Hinsdale, IL. Afternoon Event. Program: Karolina's Twins. Contact Cathy Bulthuis 630-655-8477 or

April 12, 2017 State Bank Groups Location: TBD. 1:00p. Program:TBD. Contact Kim Knes 847-888-7979

April 18, 2017 Platinum Adventures Location: Marvella's Fox Lake IL. Afternoon Event. Program: TBD. Contact Mary Jo Babiarz 847-838-7030 or





Non Fiction

  1. 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
  2. Killing the Rising Sun,  Killing Reagan  & Killing Kennedy, Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
  3. The News Sorority, Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Christiane Amanpour--and the Triumph of Women in TV News, Sheila Weller
  4. Elizabeth the Queen,The Life of a Modern Monarch, Sally Bedell Smith
  5. Hero of the Empire, The Boer War,a Daring Escape and the Making of Winston Churchill, Candice Millard
  6. Settle for More, Megyn Kelly
  7. Finding the Dragon Lady,The Mystery of  Vietnam's Madame Nhu, Monique Brinson Demery
  8. They Are All My Family by John Riordan with Monique Brinson Demery
  9. Hillbilly Elegy,A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, J.D. Vance
  10. The Wright Brothers and The Path Between the Seas,  David McCullough
  11. The Witches, Salem, 1692 and Cleopatra: A Life, Stacy Schiff
  12. Catherine, the Great: Portrait of a Woman,  Robert K. Massie
  13. Let's Roll: Ordinary People, Estraordinary Courage, Lisa Beamer
  14. The Last Swan, Marella Agnelli
  15. These Few Precious Days, The Final Year of Jack with Jackie, Christopher Andersen
  16. Rosemary, The Hidden Kennedy, Kate Larson
  17. The Good Son: JFK Jr. and the Mother He Loved, Christopher Andersen
  18. 100 Things Cubs Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die, Jimmy Greenfield
  19. Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series Champions, Official MLB Collector's Edition
  20. Not in Front of the Corgis, Secrets of Life Behind the Royal Curtains, Brian Hoey
  21. Coco Chanel,An Intimate Life, Lisa Chaney
  22. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption,  Laura Hillenbrand
  23. Steve Jobs  &   Einstein: His Life and Universe, Walter Isaacson
  24. Who Was Albert Einstein? Jess Brallier (ages 8 to 12)
  25. Jacqueline Kennedy, Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy, foreword by Caroline Kennedy
  26. Mrs. Kennedy and Me, Clint Hill
  27. Who Was William Shakespeare?  , Celeste Mannis (Young Readers)
  28. PAWS Chicago 2017 Calendar - online check
  29. Let Me Tell You About Jasper..., Dana Perino
  30. Aaron and Alexander, The Most Famous Duel in American History, Don Brown (Young Readers)
  31. The Duel, The Parallel Lives of Alexander Hamilton & Aaron Burr, Judith St. George (Young Readers)


  1. The Traitor's Wife, The Accidental Empress, and Sisi, Empress on Her Own ,Allison Pataki
  2. Circling The Sun, Paula McLain
  3. The Swans of Fifth Avenue and The Aviator's Wife, Melanie Benjamin
  4. Karolina's Twins, Saving Sophie and Once We Were Brothers, Ronald H. Balson
  5. The Hamilton Affair, Elizabeth Cobbs
  6. The Sympathizer, Viet Thanh Nguyen (Winner of Pulitzer Prize 2016)
  7. TheArt Forger, B.A. Shapiro
  8. Lilac Girls, Martha Hall Kelly
  9. A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility, Amor Towles
  10. All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr (Winner of Pulitzer Prize 2015)
  11. The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah
  12. Eleven Days, Lea Carpenter
  13. Elgible, Curtis Sittenfel
  14. The Door, Magda Szabo
  15. Hot Milk, Deborah Levy
  16. A Man Called Ove, Fredrik Backman
  17. Mademoiselle Chanel: A Novel, C. W. Gortner
  18. The Fortune Hunter, Daisy Goodwin
  19. What the Lady Wants and White Collar Girl, Renee Rosen
  20. Go Set A Watchman and To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  21. Me Before You, Jojo Moyes
  22. Wonder, R.J. Palacio (young adult)
  23. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, J.K. Rowling (Ages 8 and up)
  24. Really Important Stuff My Dog Has Taught Me, Cynthia L. Copeland
  25. A Birth Day for Hannah, Linda Petri Bunch (young readers)
  26. Pansy in Venice and Pansy in New York ,Cynthia Bardes (young readers)
  27. Our Great Big Backyard, Laura Bush and Jenna Bush Hager (young readers)
  28. Poems to Learn by Heart and A Family of Poems, Caroline Kennedy
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