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.  Barbara is currently presenting a timely program on the wonderful, fascinating, enlightening biography, Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life by gifted historical author Sally Bedell Smith!  This new book presents a fine portrait of the man who will be King–Princess Diana, Camilla and Princess Kate will appear to shed light on the true personality of His Royal Highness! Barbara’s other current program includes 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! New for Spring, 2018, Barbara will bring 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 is still bringing to life Ron Balson’s historical fiction novel, Karolina’s Twins, based on the amazing story of a true Holocaust survivor. This program is also a wonderful Salute to Veterans, as Barbara’s father, an Army Medic in WWII, was on the first team of doctors that went into Auschwitz when it was liberated! Other possible programs include “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, The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin,and “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:  

























April 12, 2018 St. Catherine’s 3535 Thornwood Avenue Glenview, IL 60025  7:00 pm Program: Where the Light Falls Contact Cathy Kee 847-724-0170 or

April 17, 2018 Little Traveler 113 South Third Street Geneva, IL 60134 9:00 am doors open at Church Fulton entrance Program: Where the Light Falls  Contact: Joan 630-232-4200  or

April 18, 2018 Plymouth Place 315 North LaGrange Road LaGrange, IL 60526 10:30am and 2:00 pm Program: Prince Charles Contact Jan Mc Dermed 708-579-2012 or

April 26, 2018 North Shore Alumnae Panhellenic Benefit Highland Park Country Club 1201 Park Avenue West Highland Park, IL 60035 6:00 pm Program: The Hamilton Affair.   Contact Jill Schmidt or

May 2, 2018 Skokie Country Club 500 Washington Avenue, Glencoe, IL 60022 5:00 pm Program: Prince Charles. Contact Linda Campbell 847-835-4199

May 11, 2018 Oak Park Country Club 2001 Thatcher Avenue, River Forest, IL 60171 10:00am Program: Prince Charles. Contact Marigayle Harrington  708-453-8328 or

May 24, 2018, Destinations With Nadine, Royal Melbourne CC. Luncheon at noon, followed by Program:Where the Light Falls. Contact Nadine



Non Fiction:

  1. Prince Charles:The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life, Sally Bedell Smith
  2. Remembering Diana, A Life in Photographs, Tina Brown
  3. Leonardo Da Vinci, Einstein, His LIfe and Universe, & Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson
  4. The Bettencourt Affair, Tom Sancton, Death of a Princess, Tom Sancton & Scott Macleod
  5. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, Ashlee Vance
  6. Beauty in the Broken Places, a memoir by Allison Pataki (coming May 1st, 2018)
  7. 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
  8. Sisters First, Jenna Bush Hager & Barbara Pierce Bush
  9. Alexander Hamilton,Grant, Ron Chernow
  10. Killing the Rising Sun,  Killing Reagan  & Killing Kennedy, Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
  11. The News Sorority, Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Christiane Amanpour–and the Triumph of Women in TV News, Sheila Weller
  12. Elizabeth the Queen,The Life of a Modern Monarch,  Sally Bedell Smith
  13. Harmony, A New Way of Looking at Our World, The Prince of Wales
  14. Hero of the Empire, The Boer War,a Daring Escape and the Making of Winston Churchill, Candice Millard
  15. Finding the Dragon Lady,The Mystery of  Vietnam’s Madame Nhu, Monique Brinson Demery
  16. Becoming Grandma, Lesley Stahl
  17. Hillbilly Elegy,A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, J.D. Vance
  18. Make Your Bed, Admiral William H. McRaven
  19. The Wright Brothers and The Path Between the Seas,  David McCullough
  20. Catherine, the Great: Portrait of a Woman,  Robert K. Massie
  21. Let’s Roll: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage, Lisa Beamer
  22. The Last Swan, Marella Agnelli
  23. Last Hope Island, Lynne Olson
  24. These Few Precious Days, The Final Year of Jack with Jackie, Christopher Andersen
  25. The Good Son: JFK Jr. and the Mother He Loved, Christopher Andersen
  26. Won for the Ages, How the Chicago Cubs Became the 2016 World Series Champions,Chicago Tribune
  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. It’s Your World, Get Informed, Get Inspired, & Get Going! Chelsea Clinton
  32. Alexander Hamilton, The Outsider, Jean Fritz (middle school readers)
  33. Jacqueline Kennedy, Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy, foreword by Caroline Kennedy
  34. PAWS Chicago 2018 Calendar – online check
  35. Aaron and Alexander, The Most Famous Duel in American History, Don Brown (Young Readers)
  36. Harmony, A Vision for Our Future, The Prince of Wales(Young Readers)


  1.  Where the Light Falls, A Novel of the French Revolution  by Allison Pataki and Owen Pataki
  2. The Traitor’s Wife, The Accidental Empress & Sisi, The Empress on Her Own, Allison Pataki
  3. The Hamilton Affair, Elizabeth Cobbs
  4. Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule, Jennifer Chiaverini
  5. Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng
  6. The Great Alone, Kristin Hannah
  7. The Swans of Fifth Avenue and Girls in the Picture, Melanie Benjamin
  8. Karolina’s Twins, Saving Sophie, The Trust and Once We Were Brothers, Ronald H. Balson
  9.  Saints for All Occasions, J. Courtney Sullivan
  10. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, Lisa See
  11. Manhattan Beach, Jennifer Egan
  12. Behold the Dreamers, Imbolo Mbue
  13. The Art Forger, B.A. Shapiro
  14. Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine, Gail Honeyman
  15. A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility, Amor Towles
  16. All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr (Winner of Pulitzer Prize 2015)
  17. The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah
  18. The Woman in the Castle, Jessica Shattuck
  19. The Door, Magda Szabo
  20. Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders
  21. A Man Called Ove, Fredrik Backman
  22. Mademoiselle Chanel: A Novel, C. W. Gortner
  23. The Fortune Hunter, Daisy Goodwin
  24. Me Before You, Jojo Moyes
  25. Wonder, R.J. Palacio (young readers or adults)
  26. I Will See You in Heaven,  Friar Jack Wintz
  27. The Land of Stories, Worlds Collide, Chris Colfer (Ages 10 to 12)
  28. The Story Orchestra, The Nutcracker, Illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle (music)
  29. A Birth Day for Hannah, Linda Petrie Bunch (young readers)
  30. A Raid of No Return, Nathan Hales (Young Readers)
  31. Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, Wendy Mass (Young Readers)
  32. Atrocious Poems A to Z, Thomas L.Vaultonburg and Jenny Mathews (young readers)
  33. Sudi, The Little Black and White Striped Zebra, Susanne Fruehauf (young readers)
  34. Our Great Big Backyard, Laura Bush and Jenna Bush Hager (young readers)
  35. Poems to Learn by Heart and A Family of Poems, Caroline Kennedy

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