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, 2014, is a dramatization of The Traitor's Wife, The Woman Behind Benedict Arnold and the Plan to Betray America by Allison Pataki. This fabulous historical fiction reveals how beautiful Philadelphia socialite Peggy Shippen, who loved to party with the British officers, will end up marrying Benedict Arnold and play a significant role in his treachery to the Patriot's cause!  Another very popular program is bringing to life Finding the Dragon Lady, The Mystery of Vietnam's Madame Nhu by Monique Brinson Demery, filled with astounding history and some spectacular stories about the author!  Ms. Rinella is also presenting a 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 has ruled Great Britain for 62 years, and has recently become a great-grandmother for the third time! Other current programs include "A Visit with Jackie Kennedy" as we  observed the 50th anniversary of tragedy in Dallas on November 22,2013, and a program entitled "From Einstein to Steve Jobs" based on Walter Isaacson's terrific biographies. Ms. Rinella has also created a fine tribute to Coco Chanel based on Lisa Chaney's biography, Coco Chanel, An Intimate Life. Finally, there is a wonderful dramatization of  B. A. Shapiro's historical fiction, The Art Forger, which was inspired by the 1990 art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.  Come meet struggling artist, Claire Roth, who is asked to reproduce a stolen painting.  Is that illegal? The phenomenal Isabelle Stewart Gardner herself will also make an appearance--fascinating and fun!   Ms. Rinella also gives a current list of her “favorite reads” at each program. Contact information and her updated reading list is given below. 

Events open to the Public:  

Sept. 5, 2014 - Howard Area Community Center Benefit. Evanston Golf Club. The Traitor's Wife program. Contact Margaret Wenzel: (773)262-6622 x244 or mwenzel@howardarea.org

Sept. 8, 2014 - North Shore Senior Center - Dragon Lady program. Contact: Joan Waxman: (847)784-6002 or jwaxman@nssc.org

Sept. 12, 2014 - Glenview Senior Center, 11AM - The Traitor's Wife. Contact: Sue Lenart: (847) 7244793

Sept. 16, 2014 - Covenant Village of Northbrook, 1pm - The Traitor's Wife Program. Contact Heidi Laabs: (847) 412-7000

Sept. 19, 2014-Maine Township of Park Ridge, 10:00am- The Traitor's Wife Program. Contact Mary Swanson 847-297-2510

Sept. 19, 2014-Red Hats Concorde Banquets Kildeer 1:30p-The Traitor's Wife Program. Contact Carol Bradley 815-385-0167

Sept. 22, 2014 -Geneva Lakes Women's Association luncheon, Lake Geneva, WI - Queen Elizabeth II program. Contact: Shelley Perry: (262-812-2201) or shelley@knightbarry.com

Sept. 25. 2014-Elgin Donor Club at Elgin Country Club 1:00p. Dragon Lady. Contact Karen Sinnett 847-741-8376




Phone:(847) 251-1164

Email: barrar1@aol.com 


Non Fiction

  1. Elizabeth the Queen,The Life of a Modern Monarch, Sally Bedell Smith
  2. Finding the Dragon Lady,The Mystery of  Vietnam's Madame Nhu, Monique Brinson Demery
  3. Catherine, the Great: Portrait of a Woman,  Robert K. Massie
  4. Victura, The Kennedys, A Sailboat, and the Sea, James W. Graham
  5. These Few Precious Days, The Final Year of Jack with Jackie, Christopher Andersen
  6. The Heir Apparnt, Jane Ridley
  7. Cleopatra: A Life, Stacy Schiff
  8. Not in Front of the Corgis, Secrets of Life Behind the Royal Curtains, Brian Hoey
  9. Coco Chanel,An Intimate Life, Lisa Chaney
  10. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption,  Laura Hillenbran
  11. Steve Jobs  &   Einstein: His Life and Universe, Walter Isaacson
  12. Jacqueline Kennedy, Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy, foreword by Caroline Kennedy
  13. The Patriarch, The Life and Times of Joseph P. Kennedy, David Nasa
  14. Mrs. Kennedy and Me, Clint Hill
  15. Black and White,the Way I See It,   Richard Williams with Bart Davis
  16. I Feel Bad About My Neck and I Remember Nothing Nora Ephron, The MOST of Nora Ephron (new 2013)
  17. The Bully Pulpit, Doris Kearns Goodwin
  18. The Greater Journey, Americans in Paris, and The Path Between the Seas,  David McCullough
  19. Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife, Eben Alexander
  20. Radical ReMission, Surviving Cancer Against All Odds, Kelly A. Turner
  21. The Boys In the Boat, Daniel James Brown
  22. Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy,  Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
  23. Bossypants, Tina Fey
  24. Everything I Need to Know I Learned From A Little Golden Book,   Diane Muldrow
  25. Elderly Parents With All Their Marbles, A Survival Guide for the Kids, Pamela Carey
  26. DADspirations:The 1st 100 Days of Fatherhood,Tips for Parenting Every New Dad Should Know, Pete Dinsmore
  27. The Magnificent Masters, Nicklas, Miller, Weiskoph and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta, Gil Capps
  28. The Greatest Golf Courses and how they are played, North America, Mark Rowlinson, gen. editor


  1. The Traitor's Wife, Allison Pataki
  2. TheArt Forger, B.A. Shapiro
  3. The Invention of Wings, Sue Monk Kidd
  4. The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt
  5. China Dolls, Lisa See
  6. The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, Gabrielle Zevin
  7. All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
  8. A Perfect Life, Danielle Steel
  9. Grand Central, Original Stories of Postwar Love and Reunion, Featuring stories by Melanie Benjamin, and other fine authors.
  10. The Aviator's Wife, Melanie Benjamin
  11. Once We Were Brothers, Ronald H. Balson
  12. An Unnecessary Woman, Rabih Alameddine
  13. Claude and Camille, A Novel of Monet, Stephanie Cowell
  14. Under the Wide and Starry Sky, Nancy Horan
  15. The First Phone Call From Heaven, Mitch Albom
  16. Shotgun Lovesongs, Nickolas Butler
  17. The Painted Girls, Cathy Marie Buchanan
  18. The Burgess Boys, Elizabeth Strout
  19. The Dinner, Herman Koch
  20. And the Mountains Echoed, Khaled Hosseini
  21. Me Before You, Jojo Moyes
  22. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
  23. Rules of Civility, Amor Towles
  24. Revenge Wears Prada, The Devil Returns, Lauren Weisberger
  25. Thirty Girls, Susan Minot
  26. Z, A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, Therese Anne Fowler
  27. Beautiful Fools, The Last Affair of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, R. Clifton Spargo
  28. Beautiful Ruins, Jess Walter
  29. Divergent and Insurgent,Veronica Roth
  30. Wonder, R.J. Palacio (young adult)
  31. Grandfather Gandhi, Arun Gamdhi (Young Readers)
  32. How to Babysit a Grandpa, Jean Reagan(Young Readers)
  33. www.iseeme.com - website for personalized children's books!!
  34. Pansy in Paris, A Mystery at the Museum, Cynthia Bardes (Young Readers)
  35. A Snow Day for Hannah and A Beach Day for Hannah, Linda Petrie Bunch (young Readers, plus stuffed dog available at mountaindogbooks.com)
  36. The Day the Crayons Quit, Drew Daywalt (Young Readers)
  37. Poems to Learn by Heart and A Family of Poems, Caroline Kennedy
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