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 Spring, 2015, Barbara is creating a program on The News Sorority, Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Christiane Amanpour--and the Triumph of Women in TV News by Sheila Weller. Respecct, appreciation, competition, envy and differences will emerge as one gets to know the Big Three Sorority girls!  Barbara is still having a ball with her 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 63 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:  

   April 7, 2015 - The Little Traveler, 404 S. Third Street, Geneva. The News Sorority 9:00a. Contact Sandy Fisher 630-232-4200

   April 13, 2015- State Bank of the Lakes Platinum Adventures at Marvellas 4 Washington Street in Ingleside. The Art Forger 1:00p. Contact Sandra Nolan 847-838-7030

   April 14, 2015-Indian Trails Library 355 Schoenbeck Road, Wheeling. The Traitor's Wife 2:00p. Contact Michelle Shapiro 847-459-4100

   April 15, 2015-Tea for Friends Hinsdale. Elizabeth the Queen 4:00p. Contact Sally Reiss 630-272-1431

   April 16, 2015-Northbrook Book Group 1:00p. The News Sorority Contact Judy Connolly 773-631-6788

   April 20, 2015-19th Century Club 178 Forest Avenue, Oak Park. The News Sorority 1:15p. Contact Jerry Hills

   April 23, 2015-St. Catherine's 3535 Thornwood Avenue, Glenview. The News Sorority 7:30p. Contact Cathy Kee 847-724-0170




Phone:(847) 251-1164



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, coming in April - They Are All My Family by John Riordan with Monique Brinson Demery
  3. The News Sorority, Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Christiane Amanpour--and the Triumph of Women in TV News, Sheila Weller
  4. 41, A Portrait of My Father, George W. Bush
  5. The Roosevelts, An Intimate History,  Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns
  6. Catherine, the Great: Portrait of a Woman,  Robert K. Massie
  7. In the Kingdom of Ice, The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette, Hampton Sides
  8. Victura, The Kennedys, A Sailboat, and the Sea, James W. Graham
  9. These Few Precious Days, The Final Year of Jack with Jackie, Christopher Andersen
  10. The Good Son: JFK Jr. and the Mother He Loved, Christopher Andersen
  11. Cleopatra: A Life, Stacy Schiff 
  12. UniChef, Top Chefs Unite in Support of The World's Children, cookbook by Hilary Gumbel
  13. Not in Front of the Corgis, Secrets of Life Behind the Royal Curtains, Brian Hoey
  14. Coco Chanel,An Intimate Life, Lisa Chaney
  15. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption,  Laura Hillenbrand
  16. Steve Jobs  &   Einstein: His Life and Universe, Walter Isaacson
  17. Jacqueline Kennedy, Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy, foreword by Caroline Kennedy
  18. Mrs. Kennedy and Me, Clint Hill
  19. Born to Be King, Prince Charles on Planet Windsor, Catherine Mayer
  20. I Feel Bad About My Neck and I Remember Nothing Nora Ephron, The MOST of Nora Ephron (new 2013)
  21. The Bully Pulpit, Doris Kearns Goodwin
  22. The Greater Journey, Americans in Paris, and The Path Between the Seas,  David McCullough
  23. Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife, Eben Alexande
  24. Mrs. Thorne's World of Miniatures, Sally Sexton Kalmbach
  25. Radical ReMission, Surviving Cancer Against All Odds, Kelly A. Turner
  26. The Boys In the Boat, Daniel James Brown
  27. Killing Lincoln ,Killing Kennedy, and Killing Patton, Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
  28. Yes, Please, Amy Poehler
  29. -Calendar with Spencie Rinella on back cover!


  1. The Traitor's Wife, Allison Pataki (Coming in February, 2015, The Accidental Empress, Allison Pataki)
  2. TheArt Forger, B.A. Shapiro
  3. Gray Montain , John Grisham
  4. The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
  5. The Invention of Wings, Sue Monk Kidd
  6. The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt
  7. What the Lady Wants, A Novel of Marshall Field and the Gilded Age, Renee Rosen
  8. All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
  9. A Perfect Life, Danielle Steel
  10. Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi
  11. China Dolls, Lisa See
  12. The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, Gabrielle Zevin
  13. An Unnecessary Woman, Rabih Alameddine
  14. The Aviator's Wife, Melanie Benjamin
  15. Once We Were Brothers, Ronald H. Balson
  16. Claude and Camille, A Novel of Monet, Stephanie Cowell
  17. The First Phone Call From Heaven, Mitch Albom
  18. The Painted Girls, Cathy Marie Buchanan
  19. Me Before You, Jojo Moyes
  20. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
  21. Rules of Civility, Amor Towles
  22. Divergent and Insurgent,Veronica Roth
  23. Wonder, R.J. Palacio (young adult)
  24. Who Was Amelia Earhart?, Kate Boehm Jerome (ages 8 to 12)
  25. A Snow Day for Hannah,and  A Beach Day for Hannah, Linda Petrie Bunch (young readers)
  26. I Love Dogs, Sue stainton and Bob Staake (children's book)
  27. - website for personalized children's books!!
  28. Poems to Learn by Heart and A Family of Poems, Caroline Kennedy
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