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, 2014, is a dramatization of 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 just become a great-grandmother for the third time!  Another current program is entitled "A Visit with Jackie," as we remember the 50th anniversary of tragedy in Dallas. Based on a number of current Kennedy books, Jackie Kennedy will give a poignant salute to JFK! To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first Chanel shop created in 1913, Ms. Rinella has created a fine tribute to Coco Chanel based on Lisa Chaney's biography, Coco Chanel, An Intimate Life.  Ms. Rinella is also bringing to life 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 25, 2014 - Glenview Senior Center, 11AM. Dragon Lady Program. Contact Roberta Forester: (847)912-8558

                                                       May 2, 2014 - Maine Township, Park Ridge, IL, 10AM. Dragon Lady Program. Contact Mary Swanson: (847) 297-2510

                                                       May 7, 2014 - Ozaukee Family Services Benefit, Milwaukee, WI. 10:30AM. Queen Elizabeth II Program.  Contact Pam Stark:262-242-0517 or pamstark@gmail.com

                                                       May 8, 2014 - Our Children's Homestead Event, Naperville, IL. 1PM.  TBA. Contact Kirstin Samp: (630)369-0004 or KStamp@ourchildrenshomestead.org

                                                       May 8, 2014 - KKG Alumni Event, Kenilworth, IL. 7PM. Dragon Lady Program. Contact Tammy Mitchell: northshorepres@mykkg.org

                                                       May 13, 2014 - Northbrook Senior Center, Sunset Ridge CC. 1:30PM. Dragon Lady Program. Contact Katie MacKay: (847)291-2988 or KmacKay@nbparks.org


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. Counting One's Blessings: The Selected Letters of the Queen Mother, William Shawcross
  8. Cleopatra: A Life, Stacy Schiff
  9. Not in Front of the Corgis, Secrets of Life Behind the Royal Curtains, Brian Hoey
  10. Coco Chanel,An Intimate Life, Lisa Chaney
  11. Unbelievable Happiness and Final Sorrow-The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Marriage, Ruth A. Hawkins
  12. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption,  Laura Hillenbrand
  13. That Woman, The Life of Wallis Simpson,  Anne Sebba 
  14. Steve Jobs  &   Einstein: His Life and Universe, Walter Isaacson
  15. Jacqueline Kennedy, Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy, foreword by Caroline Kennedy
  16. The Patriarch, The Life and Times of Joseph P. Kennedy, David Nasaw
  17. Jack Kennedy, Elusive Hero, Chris Matthews  
  18. Mrs. Kennedy and Me, Clint Hill
  19. After Visiting Friends: A Son's Story, Michael Hainey
  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 Alexander
  24. Uprising: A New Age is Dawning for Every Mother's Daughter, Sally Armstrong
  25. The Boys In the Boat, Daniel James Brown
  26. Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy,  Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
  27. Farewell, Jackie, Edward Klein
  28. Hidden Power, Kati Marton
  29. Bossypants, Tina Fey
  30. PAWS Chicago 2014 Pet Calendar (order from www.pawschicago.org
  31. The Pleasure of His Company, Paul B. Fay (Published in 1966, by one of John F. Kennedy's very best friends!
  32. The Unstoppable Golfer, Dr. Bob Rotella


  1. The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt
  2. TheArt Forger, B.A. Shapiro
  3. The Invention of Wings, Sue Monk Kidd
  4. The Traitor's Wife, Allison Pataki
  5. The First Phone Call From Heaven, Mitch Albom
  6. The Aviator's Wife, Melanie Benjamin
  7. The Circle, Dave Eggers
  8. Claude and Camille, A Novel of Monet, Stephanie Cowell
  9. Under the Wide and Starry Sky, Nancy Horan
  10. Shotgun Lovesongs, Nickolas Butler
  11. The Lowland, Jhumpa Lahiri
  12. The Uncommon Reader, a novella by Alan Bennett
  13. The Painted Girls, Cathy Marie Buchanan
  14. The Burgess Boys, Elizabeth Strout
  15. The Dinner, Herman Koch
  16. And the Mountains Echoed, Khaled Hosseini
  17. Me Before You, Jojo Moyes
  18. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
  19. Rules of Civility, Amor Towles
  20. Revenge Wears Prada, The Devil Returns, Lauren Weisberger
  21. Inferno, Dan Brown
  22. Z, A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, Therese Anne Fowler
  23. Beautiful Fools, The Last Affair of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, R. Clifton Spargo
  24. Beautiful Ruins, Jess Walter
  25. Divergent, Veronica Roth
  26. C is for Country Club, The Affluent Alphabet, Anna Swisher and Trey Wright
  27. Wonder, R.J. Palacio (young adult)
  28. The Light Between Oceans, M. L Stedman
  29. How to Babysit a Grandpa, Jean Reagan (Young Readers)
  30. Rosie Revere, Engineer, Andrea Beaty (Young Readers)
  31. Pansy in Paris, A Mystery at the Museum, Cynthia Bardes (Young Readers)
  32. A Snow Day for Hannah and A Beach Day for Hannah, Linda Petrie Bunch (young Readers, plus stuffed dog available at mountaindogbooks.com)
  33. The Day the Crayons Quit, Drew Daywalt (Young Readers)
  34. Poems to Learn by Heart and A Family of Poems, Caroline Kennedy
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