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 has created 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! New for Fall, 2015, Barbara will present a 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."  Another current, 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 will soon break Queen Victoria's record to become the longest reigning British Monarch ever, and has just become a great-grandmother for the fifth time! 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:  

   May 18, 2015 - Crystal Lake Platium Adventurers, Biaggi's Restaurant in Algonquin, IL, 1pm. Contact: Sandra Nolan, (815) 444-3700 or

   June 2, 2015 - The Little Traveler, Geneva, IL, 9:30am. Program TBA. Contact: Sandy Fischer: (630) 232-4200


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


  1. The Traitor's Wife, and The Accidental Empress, Allison Pataki
  2. TheArt Forger, B.A. Shapiro
  3. All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
  4. The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
  5. The Sympathizer, Viet thanh Nguyen
  6. The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt
  7. What the Lady Wants, A Novel of Marshall Field and the Gilded Age, Renee Rosen
  8. Gray Montain , John Grisham
  9. The Invention of Wings, Sue Monk Kidd
  10. Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi
  11. China Dolls, Lisa See
  12. An Unnecessary Woman, Rabih Alameddine
  13. The Aviator's Wife, Melanie Benjamin
  14. Claude and Camille, A Novel of Monet, Stephanie Cowell
  15. The First Phone Call From Heaven, Mitch Albom
  16. The Painted Girls, Cathy Marie Buchanan
  17. Me Before You, Jojo Moyes
  18. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
  19. Rules of Civility, Amor Towles
  20. Divergent and Insurgent,Veronica Roth
  21. Wonder, R.J. Palacio (young adult)
  22. Who Was Amelia Earhart?, Kate Boehm Jerome (ages 8 to 12)
  23. Who Was Albert Einstein? Jess Brallier (ages 8 to 12)
  24. A Snow Day for Hannah,and  A Beach Day for Hannah, Linda Petrie Bunch (young readers)
  25. Really Important Stuff My Dog Has Taught Me, Cynthia L. Copeland
  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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