As a dramatic book reviewer, Jenny motivates, educates, and entertains audiences with her unique interpretations of best-selling books in which she becomes the characters telling their real-life stories. For twenty years, Jenny has been delighting audiences with her captivating style of storytelling. At the end of each review, Jenny shares her current “favorite reads.” For more information, call Jenny at 630-707-7801 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. CONTACT JENNY
Youtube–Bringing Books to Life:
List of Current Reviews:
Mozart’s Women: His Family, His Friends, His Music
Dramatic book reviewer, Jenny Riddle, in character as Constanze Mozart, along with classical pianist, Jeffrey Panko, bring to life the fascinating story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the most important women in his life, based on the best-selling book Mozart’s Women by Jane Glover. In this special collaboration, Jenny wears a custom-designed period costume as she tells the moving story of Wolf and Constanze’s lives—their love AND the music, while Mr. Panko performs some of Mozart’s best-loved music on the piano.
(Solo version of this show, just Jenny as Constanze Mozart, is also available for certain organizations.)
The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor–the Truth and the Turmoil
We Americans are fascinated by the doings of England’s Royal family, and Tina Brown tries to satisfy our curiosity in her new tell-all book The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor—the Truth and the Turmoil. Join Jenny Riddle, in character, as she portrays that nemesis of Princess Di—Camilla Parker Bowles—AKA Queen Consort and wife of the NOW King of England—Charles III. You’ll hear plenty of Buckingham Palace insights, sometimes downright gossip, about Elizabeth, Philip, Charles, William, Kate, Harry, and Meghan. Join Jenny Riddle for her presentation of The Palace Papers and get set for a rollicking good look at Merry Old England!
Find a Way by Diana Nyad
On September 2, 2013, at the age of sixty-four, Diana Nyad emerged onto the sands of Key West after swimming 111 miles, nation to nation, Cuba to Florida, in an epic feat of both endurance and human will, in fifty-three hours. Diana carried three poignant messages on her way across this stretch of shark-infested waters, and she spoke them to the crowd in her moment of final triumph:
- Never, ever give up.
- You’re never too old to follow your dreams.
- It looks like a solitary sport, but it’s a TEAM.
Find a Way is a unique, passionate story of Nyad’s heroic adventure and the extraordinary life experiences that have served to carve her unwavering spirit. Join Jenny for this inspiring dramatization.
Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas
Jenny sings and shares the fascinating stories behind our most beloved Christmas songs, based on Ace Collins’ book of the same title. There is a treasure of inspiration to be found in these stories. The history of these cherished songs will come to life in the hands of Jenny’s engaging storytelling. You’ll laugh and cry and learn things you didn’t know before. Get ready to sing along.
Famous First Ladies: Mary Todd Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt & Jackie Kennedy
We Americans have always been fascinated by the White House–a symbol of power and prestige of our country. We know so much about the Presidents and the families who lived there from our history books, and more recently movies and television. But most of what we read or see is about the public personas of those people. Join Jenny Riddle as she dramatizes, in character, the personal lives of three remarkable First Ladies.
Catherine the Great: Empress of Russia
Come meet Jenny as Catherine the Great. Jenny brings this fascinating woman to life in her dramatic book review, Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert Massie. “Catherine” has lots of secrets to tell about her dramatic rise to power from a little-known princess to her thirty-four-year reign as Empress of Russia. Learn how Catherine’s passion for books and learning, her ability to keep her cool, her famous liaisons, and her enlightened philosophy made her one of the most successful women of all time. It’s a riveting story that you won’t want to miss.
Also available as a video: Catherine the Great Trailer https://vimeo.com/401024824
Jenny Riddle brings to life Sally Field based on Field’s fabulous memoir, In Pieces. Sally’s book is an intensely personal, vulnerable accounting of her life and career. From Gidget to Norma Rae to Mary Todd Lincoln, Field has stunned audiences time and again with her artistic range. Yet there has been one character who has always remained hidden: the shy and anxious girl within. Join Jenny for this “in character” presentation to find out how Sally Field eventually finds her own voice in this inspiring and unforgettable story.
Jackie, Janet & Lee: The Secret Lives of Janet Auchincloss
and Her Daughters, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill
When Jackie Bouvier first started dating John Kennedy, Jackie’s mother Janet commented, “John has an impressive pedigree, but doesn’t he look a little unkempt?” You know the phrase we often hear and use when we are discussing relationships–“It’s complicated”–well that is a good description of how Janet (Bouvier, Auchincloss) and her daughters, Jackie (Bouvier, Kennedy, Onassis) and Lee (Bouvier, Canfield, Radziwill, Ross) interacted.
I’m sure most of you think you know all there is to know about Jackie Kennedy, but there is more to learn about how she interacted with her mother and sister. Jenny reveals the secrets of the Bouvier women in her dramatic review based on Randy Taraborelli’s fascinating biography.
Jenny’s Signature-Style Book Review of Current Best-Selling Books
Get ready for this fast-paced, motivational, giant book review as Jenny shares the day’s most interesting and inspiring books. This program changes regularly with new and up-to-date books that are engaging, informative, and will help your audience solve the dilemma of what to read next!
Trailblazers Who Changed and Are Changing the World From SEVEN BEST-SELLING BOOKS!
Get ready for this motivational and inspiring book talk of fascinating stories, sage advice, and practical takeaways as Jenny brings these trailblazers to life. You’ll meet champion tennis player and feminist Billie Jean King, abolitionist and suffragist Lucy Stone, poet and recluse Emily Dickinson, Stoic philosopher and Emperor of Rome Marcus Aurelius, thought leader and psychologist Adam Grant, heroic Navy SEALs, and social activist and pop artist Sister Corita Kent.
You’ll be inspired to FIND THE COURAGE to be yourself, RE-THINK IDEAS that no longer serve you or your communities, SPEAK UP for justice and equality, REFRAME SELF-LIMITING STORIES, and MAINTAIN HOPE in a turbulent and changing world.
Ray & Joan: The Man Who Made the McDonald’s Fortune
and the Woman Who Gave It All Away
Did you know that the first McDonald’s was actually an orange juice stand? And, despite Ray Kroc’s claim that he built the first McDonald’s in Des Plaines, IL in 1955, it’s simply not true! Otherwise, we’d be eating Big Kroc’s instead of Big Mac’s.
Let Jenny Riddle share more tidbits about Ray and Joan Kroc as she brings to life Lisa Napoli’s best-seller, RAY AND JOAN. Jenny, in the role of Joan Kroc, will give you many insights into the man who made the McDonald’s fortune and the woman (Joan) who gave it all away. Sure, Ray was a philanthropist who donated huge sums to medical research into diseases such as arthritis on the advice of his PR team! Hmmm. After Ray’s death, Joan gave away even huger sums to causes such as the anti-proliferation of nuclear weapons movement, the treatment of alcohol and AIDS, the establishment of Hospice Centers throughout the U. S., to name a few—and usually gifted anonymously. And what were Ray and Joan like as people?
Join Jenny for an entertaining and informative look into the lives of this power couple: RAY AND JOAN.
The Most Important Story You Will Ever Tell Is The Story You Tell Yourself
How often have you said to yourself, “I’ll do that when I’m skinnier, better prepared, more creative, smarter, have more time?” “What will people think?” “Who am I to put my ideas out into the world?” “I can change to fit in.” “No one can find out about….”
Stories have the ability to inspire and change lives.
But there are also those stories we tell ourselves that keep us from being the person we really want to be or from doing the things we truly want to do, both personally and professionally.
In this inspiring presentation, Jenny Riddle shares great stories, lots of books, and plenty of tools and strategies to inspire you to write the most important story you will ever tell–the story you tell yourself.
- Our Gifts of Imperfection
- Fail Forward
- Process Over Outcome
- Adapt as We Age
- Reframe Our Body Image
- Seize the Moment
- Follow Your Dreams At Any Age
List of books used in this talk:
Find a Way by Diana Nyad, The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown, The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath, Help Me by Marianne Power, A Life In Parts by Bryan Cranston, Presence by Amy Cuddy, When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron, Brave, Not Perfect by Reshma Saujani, Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed, The Fiddler in the Subway by Gene Weingarten, If You Lived Here You’d Be Home by Now by Christopher Ingraham, Women Rowing North by Mary Pipher, and I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron
Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows
In this dramatic book review, Jenny Riddle portrays Chicago street photographer, Vivian Maier, the North Shore nanny whose remarkable gift for photography has, posthumously, taken the world by storm. Based on the extraordinary book, Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows by Richard Cahan and Michael Williams, Jenny, in character, reveals the fascinating details of this story of “buried treasure” and one woman’s private passion and genius for photography.
I’m nobody, who are you?
Are you nobody too?
Then there’s a pair of us–don’t tell!
They’ll banish–you know!
Maier’s story is reminiscent of Emily Dickinson’s; both women had remarkable gifts not revealed until after their deaths.
Julie Andrews’ Home: The Early Years
Everyone remembers Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins and Maria Von Trapp, but who was she before that? The voice that Julie Andrews thought of as a “gimmick” at age 10 became one of the most recognizable voices in the world. Join Jenny as she dramatizes the life of Julie Andrews, before she was Mary or Maria, telling her story and singing her songs, in her presentation of Julie Andrews’ memoir, Home: The Early Years.
We Will Survive: Emily Post, The Bag Lady Papers,
and You Look Fine, Really!
How do women survive the dilemmas that life throws at them? In this uplifting Book Review, “We Will Survive,” Jenny Riddle gives you the coping mechanisms of three very different women. As Emily Post, Jenny will set you straight on which fork to use first at a formal dinner, but you will be surprised at some of Emily’s advice in Laura Claridge’s biography Emily Post: Mistress of American Manners. In the second short review, you’ll meet Alexandra Penney whose book The Bag Lady Papers shows what one person suffered in the Madoff “rip-off” scandal. Finally, Jenny will put a smile on your face as she dramatizes Christie Mellor’s book, You Look Fine, Really. She quickly takes you through the minefield of hilarious problems today’s women must cope with. Enjoy the journey with Jenny as she tells how these three women did survive in fine fashion.
Audition: A Memoir by Barbara Walters
How did Barbara Walters cut through that glass ceiling and manage to be on the cutting edge of television performance for 40 years? Was she just lucky–or did she create her “luck” with hard work and chutzpah? And how did she get that first big interview with Barbra Streisand and her live-in hairdresser, Jon Peters? We’ve all seen Walters doing her thing with interviews and news shows. But how about a close-up of Barbara Walters off-camera? Jenny Riddle gives us just that and more in her dramatic review, “Barbara Walters’ AUDITION.” You’re going to learn some intimate details about this woman who was the first woman co-anchor on prime time news and who was the most celebrated interviewer in t.v. history.
Christmas at the White House: A History in Story and Song
“Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays” unless you are the President of the United States, and then, “There’s no place like the White House for the holidays.” Christmas at the White House is indeed magical as so many First Ladies and Presidents through the years have attested. Join Jenny Riddle and Elizabeth Doyle as they enchant audiences with classic carols and surprising tales of White House celebrations through the years. (Please note that this is a two-person show and the fee is different from my solo shows.)
Also available as a video: Christmas at the White House: A History in Story and Song https://vimeo.com/461898522
Pets at the White House: A History in Story and Song
Did you know that Thomas Jefferson had a pet mockingbird who often sat on his master’s shoulder? Or that cows and goats used to graze on the White House lawn? Or that Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Scottish terrier Fala traveled with the President and attended parties with world leaders? In “Pets at the White House,” the dynamic singing and acting duo, Jenny Riddle and Elizabeth Doyle, delight audiences with wonderful stories and songs about the four-legged, beaked, and pawed inhabitants who have resided at the White House throughout the decades.With upbeat music and fascinating and little-known anecdotes, Jenny and Elizabeth reveal how pets have played an important role at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, not only by providing companionship to the presidents and their families, but also by humanizing and softening their political images. Join Jenny and Elizabeth for this unique and uplifting show. (Please note that this is a two-person show and the fee is different from my solo shows.)
Also available as a video with photos: Pets at the White House: A History in Story and Song https://vimeo.com/523852086