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The To-Do List Audiobook

The To-Do List

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Publisher's Summary

Between unending housework and thankless efforts to appease a loutish husband and acid-tongued teens, Ginny Cooper's to-do list never seems to get done. Her guilty pleasure - fantasizing about her husband's demise - her weakness - the drive-thru at Arby's. On the job as head librarian at the county's obsolete library, tedium reigns. One afternoon Ginny innocently stumbles upon a dating website, where the rabbit hole awaits.

Who is Ginny Cooper? She is every woman who knows the exact number of calories in a Snickers bar, every woman who has ever struggled with her weight. She is every woman who has grappled with the gray areas, every woman who has wanted to escape her own life. At times the listener will want to shake her and talk some sense into her. But Ginny will have to navigate her own road. And through it all, we root for her. Ginny's childhood memories of her fading hometown provide a bittersweet backdrop for The To-Do List.

©2014 Jeanne Miller (P)2017 Jeanne Miller

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  •  
    Dee LA 03-14-17
    Dee LA 03-14-17

    I download over 100 books a year. I don't even know how to go about my day without listening to a title. It's my happy place!

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    "This book had me at "The"!"
    Any additional comments?

    I. Enjoyed. This. Listen. So. Much.<br/><br/>From the first "to do" list to the last, this book had it all. The narration was exceptional. Sheckells took us on a wonderful journey that never disappointed. The author created the characters (and major kudos to JC Miller) but Sheckells made Ginny real. I felt everything. Every. Thing. <br/><br/>This was a well-written book with a well-written main character and everyone should take Ginny's journey!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lomeraniel Spain 04-10-17
    Lomeraniel Spain 04-10-17
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    "Woman in her 40s reaches a dead end"
    Any additional comments?

    I have received this book in audio format from the author in exchange for an honest review.<br/><br/>Ginny's life is starting to crumble. She cannot keep her weight down, her husband is having an affair and her teenage son and daughter seem out of control. Things are not good either at the library where she works. Buried in a pile of tasks, Ginny makes a to-do list every morning, but in the end very little from it she can accomplish. She needs a change in her life, when she suddenly stumbles upon a dating site.<br/><br/>I really liked the premises of this book. A story about a woman in her forties reaching a dead end definitely has place for great events and personal growth. I somehow expected something grand to happen here to Ginny, but it is like that moment never came. I partly understood her attitude, as I have witnessed people in similar situations, and I expected something to click inside her at some point, but she made mistake after mistake, and at moments I just wanted to shake her and tell her to think things twice. I guess it is easy to see things from outside, and in the end, she indeed reacts, but we do not really witness that. We see that Ginny is a mess, Ginny improves a little but she is still a mess, and just at the end of the book, it is mentioned that she moved on and made a smart move. I somehow missed that final stage of the evolution, and felt that we were just given a part of the story.<br/><br/>The book is full of things that could have been but were not. Ginny is indeed scared of doing many things, but as I have said before, I missed the part of her evolution in which she dared to do new things. She had also suspicions about some of the other characters in the book, which not were explained, so I guess it was all in her mind, but I think a deeper character developing would have worked better here.<br/><br/>Something that felt strange to me when I started to listen to this book is that it was written in third person. I think a story like this one would have worked better in first person, and would have made us feel closer to the main character.<br/><br/>I really liked Sarah K. Sheckells' narration. She expressed very well Ginny's insecurities with her tone and cadence, as well as doing a great interpretation of the rest of characters. I have a small comment though. There was some background noise in general, that got a little worse at times. It was evident at the end of each chapter because there was a short instant of completely silence. I think adding the same background noise to those parts would have helped to mask it. I also felt the pause between chapters a bit abrupt and on the short side.<br/><br/>I enjoyed this book, even though I did expect more from it. Sheckells' narration has improved the final product and I am looking forward to listening to more books narrated by her.<br/>

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nori Muster 04-07-17
    Nori Muster 04-07-17

    Nori Muster

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    "Witness a woman with a kind heart and a junk food"
    Any additional comments?

    Ginny Cooper has poor self-esteem, and a sexually abusive, emotionally absent husband. Trace her struggle to cope with her life through her daily notations on her to do list. JC Miller did not live this life herself, but somehow channeled this story so realistically you would think it’s a memoir. She draws the reader into the Ginny’s life with her teenaged children, who exhibit all the symptoms of coming from a dysfunctional family. The story follows an arc with a barely visible first act, and culminates in a concise third act. The grist of the story is a long second act with one conflict and letdown after another. Through her seemingly endless bumbling struggle, you get to know Ginny and what goes on in her head. If it was real life, you might mistake Ginny for that passive-aggressive woman next door, who doesn’t take care of herself, and can’t control her kids. However, as you get to know her, you learn why nothing seems to work for her. Still, you trust everything can fall together for Ginny, and you can’t put the book down until it does.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen M. 04-05-17
    Karen M. 04-05-17
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    "Very Enjoyable Chick Lit"
    Any additional comments?

    I think there's a little Ginny in most middle-aged women. Caught between teenage children, aging parents and struggles with her weight, Ginny is unhappy with her life. After escaping her abusive husband, she is able to forge a new life for herself and achieve the happiness that she deserves. Excellent writing and great narration! I enjoyed Ginny's journey and would recommend The To-Do List.<br/><br/>I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator. This review is my honest opinion.<br/><br/>

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cyndi 04-03-17
    cyndi 04-03-17

    I've rarely met an audio book I didnt like. I love rom-com, cozy murder mystery, and self-help.

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    "Enjoyable!"

    Loved this! Great narration! I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tammy 03-21-17
    Tammy 03-21-17

    I am an avid reader and listener of all types of books. I am always willing to try any book or audiobook.

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    "interesting"

    What I enjoyed most about this book is how the written JC Miller wrote Ginnifer Cooper. The book seems to go along everyday life. Depression is what Ginnifer is and does until !
    I found humor that made me chuckle and brutal honesty of the characters.
    I was gifted this audio ARC from the author for a honest and unbiased review.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tenn's mom 03-19-17
    tenn's mom 03-19-17
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    "Awakenings"

    Ginny, the main character in the To Do List, is a woman experiencing a mid life crisis in her settled world. Long married with teenage children she uses food as a comfort and coping tool. This story explores her journey into her new self.

    The characters in this book are familiar and easy to relate to. The narrator brings them to life. Read or listen to this book and find yourself rooting for Ginny as she grows into herself. Here's to new beginnings! Highly recommended.

    I recommend this book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Lovely Rod Adelaide, South Australia 03-16-17
    The Lovely Rod Adelaide, South Australia 03-16-17

    I suffer an Audio Addiction & professionally review audiobooks for 2 sites. I've been a professional reviewer for 30+ years. Please enquire!

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    "Not a lover of Chic-Lit but LOVED this!"

    Marvellous!

    I’m always hesitant to get into chick-lit but have discovered such great audiobooks in the ones that I’ve heard. I feel a bit like a homophobe who thinks every decent gay person they meet is an exception to the rule.

    The To-Do List, by J C Miller, read by Sara K SheckellsThe To-Do List by JC Miller should be on your To Do List. Whether you focus on Miller’s great writing and characterisations or Sara K Sheckells outstanding narration, this audiobook is thoroughly relatable, totally engaging and completely enjoyable.

    Ginny Cooper is an unhappily married mother of two. At 41, she’s a librarian with low self-esteem, a cold husband and two rebellious teenage children. She knows the calorie count of every favourite sweet treat and dreams of the romance and happiness that eludes her life.

    Every day, she creates a To Do list that she rarely achieves, most notably missing the things that could turn her life around, like contacting her local women’s gym, Curves, to lose a few pounds, or calling her mother who could offer the emotional support she needs.

    After suffering the drudgery of daily life, the threat of job cuts at the library, and emotional abuse by her husband and kids, Ginny’s life is turned around when her husband rapes her and she finally makes a stand. It’s an awful, difficult scene, handled with compassion, and it is the turning point for her story.

    The newly-single Ginny discovers herself and begins completing her To Do list, with notable exceptions, like killing her husband! Her inner strength beings to shine and, in response, new friendships blossom and new relationships are formed with her kids and estranged husband.

    Sheckells embodies Ginny’s character, using the first-person narrative to share the insecurities, strengths and fantasies with absolute believability. She makes us ache for Ginny’s happiness and root for even the slightest victory. That’s not to say this is a heavy listening experience. Ginny’s self-depreciation and insecurities make way for ample humour which only serves to make the character more endearing.

    While serving up a totally loveable, frustrating and real protagonist, Sheckells also manages to embody all of Miller’s other characters: we hate husband, Cal, want to ground rebellious teenager Kelly and hug the more caring son Kevin. We distrust co-worker Margie and fall in love with stuttering Clark and blind date Luke. Sheckells' voices and characterisations are precise and completely right.

    The To-Do List is a success story for the main character and the listener. Find other chic-lit audiobook reviews on my audiobook review site at SaidNotRead dot wordpress dot com and do yourself a favour by grabbing The To-Do List. It is hard not to become totally absorbed by Ginny’s plight.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    April H. Kansas 03-15-17
    April H. Kansas 03-15-17 Member Since 2010
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    "The To-Do List"

    The To-Do List :
    JC Miller


    Ginny is in the sandwich generation, worrying over parents and sometimes rebellious teenagers. She works full time as head librarian, runs a household all while being bullied by an arrogant husband. She makes to do lists that are never ending. She wants to escape her life. Ginny represents every woman at some point in their life. The author adds humor to keep this from being a total downer. I couldn't stop once I started. I'll definitely look for more from this author.


    The narration was well done.The characters were well portrayed.Sara K. Sheckells was wonderful at bringing this story alive!



    "I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Hermit Librarian 06-03-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Sore disappointment would be an understatement"

    This is the book that did it, the one that made me want to invent a negative star rating system because I hated it so much that it was the audio version of watching a train wreck that only seemed to get worse by jumping the track and going down Main Street, taking out little old ladies and puppies along the way.

    I'll be quite frank with you, I hated this book. If it were possible to give a negative star rating, something I've never hoped for before, even in the case of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, this would be the book. Therefore, things might get a little rant-like at times. I encourage you to bear with me because I have reasons for hating it as much as I do and I'll explain them.

    First, let me start with some not quite so horrible things.

    Cover

    This book is a lesson in not judging a book by its cover. It's a good cover in general, but for this particular book it was all wrong. Going by what I saw, I thought that it might be a murder mystery of some kind. Why you might ask? There's the titular to-do list with "Kill Cal" on it, a cleaver on the table, and blood dripping from the "t" in "List". It's the perfect cover for one of those "lite" mysteries that I imagined it to be. For the book it ended up being? It fails at conveying almost anything in relation to the book.

    Narration (Sara K. Sheckells)

    The sound quality of the narration was good. There was no static like quality to it and I could hear the narrator's enunciation well.

    The narrator herself was something of a 50/50 situation. Her narration when not dealing with character voices was good. It was neither too high pitched nor too low. However, when she tackled the different characters, the male voices sounded quite fake. A good narrator should be able to, even with a different gendered character, present a decent front in their act, but I didn't get that in the portrayal of either Cal or Luke. Clark's stutter sounded accurate, but when his diction got better, his voice blended with the narrator's natural voice and faded into the background.

    The women's voices were slightly better. They were each unique, at least, but the life behind them didn't feel special or particularly vivacious. Ginny's voice had a bit of a nasal, speaking-to-a-child-like quality to it that didn't make sense and probably added to the reasons why I didn't like her.

    This is the first time I've heard this narrator and I might be willing to give her a chance again, but I think that I'd prefer it if it were a non-fiction book or one with no conversation, as that seems to be her weakness.

    The Book - Plot

    This part is going to be long. There will be SPOILERS and a Trigger Warning (sexual assault) within because I wrote notes as I was listening to this story and expounded upon the parts that bothered me, so fair warning. Also, I will make notes as to what percent I noted some things at, which pertain to the Audible version of this book, in case you decide to listen to this yourself.

    Starting very early on in the story (7%), it was evident that the people in Ginny’s life were awful. I was still on her side in the beginning mostly because she only seemed to have one decent person around: her co-worker, Clark. Margie, her only other co-worker and one that she insinuates has the job because of her connections to the mother of Ginny’s boss, makes comments behind Ginny’s back that we overhear and is “subtly” rude to her face.

    Ginny herself was a confusing character here too because she had issues with flip-flopping emotions regarding people and things, making it difficult to get a grasp on what she really felt about them or thought: i.e. first she says Margie is cold/distant, then she’s personable and able to get the children at the library they work in to listen; also Ginny’s comments about her leather shoes being unforgiving, then breaking in wonderfully, then horribly tight again. The inconsistencies in her observations of things made her a conundrum to me.

    Things got worse because it became evident, once we met Ginny’s husband Cal (10-14%), that she was being emotionally abused. The problem with the handling of this subject in the book was that it wavered between possibly being severe underappreciation and downright emotional abuse. It takes so long for anyone to even hint at anything being wrong, let alone address the actual issue, that I couldn’t be sure if that was what the author was intending, for Ginny to be an emotionally abused character.

    Noticing it before the characters did, though, made it easy to spot the parts in her life where it was affecting her (17%). It made it difficult for her to complete her job, for her to work with anyone at the library, including Margie and her boss, Owen.

    At (24%), while Ginny is blind to her own situation, I am glad that she sees and tries to intervene for her daughter. It's heartbreaking to see her not realize that she's ​in the same position she's warning Kelly away from, which Kelly is smart enough to finally confront her on. Ginny's kids have grown up seeing her abused and thinking it's ok, which is why Kelly's in this pickle. After the night when this occurs, though, it gets dropped again and not really talked about, which seemed like an odd moment of clarity before getting swept under the rug again.

    I was painfully aware of how done with this book I was at (28%), but little did I know that things would get worse. At (42%), the book took a turn from the unlikeable and boring to the downright disgusting. We’ve already established that Ginny is an abused character and given the visual marketing for this book, I would never have suspected that there was this kind of content within, but I have to include a TRIGGER WARNING for instances of sexual assault.

    Cal rapes his wife and all Ginny is worried about is soothing his ego. If she hadn’t been set up as so damn unlikable earlier in the book, before the emotional abuse even took place, this might have had a different effect other than disgust. The fact that it happens and is never mentioned again, not even to Ginny’s divorce attorney later in the book, feels like a slap in the face. Such a traumatic event shouldn’t be used for shock value.

    Ginny, at some point, thought that it would be interesting and fun to sign up for a trial subscription to a dating site. Okay, fine, but then she starts to lead one of the men on (44%). Doing so is a despicable action. She knows that he’s a real person and yet she pretends to be a real person, someone that can be with him for something like a date for coffee, when she is not. This is prior to her separation, so no, it’s no okay. It definitely would’ve been cheating, even with the sorry excuse for a husband she has. To make matters worse, she used a fake name and a fake picture, so right then she was cat fishing and I hated her for it. While I did feel sorry for Luke initially, once he does find out about her deception, he completely forgives her for it and they start moving towards dating. That is either completely unbelievable or the moment when I gave up on Luke as a serious person. How could he trust a thing she said when she admitted that everything they’d shared until that point was a lie, even her name?

    To further why I don't like Ginny, despite her being a pitiable character at this stage in the book, she’s started constantly makes snide little remarks about people. Like Jackie, the receptionist at Curves and old friend (remakes about her "prepubescent" body). Like Margie, an elderly woman who, while admittedly not a great person, has hearing problems and can't cope as well these days.

    Moving on in the book, once she’s separated from Cal and she’s thinking of dating Luke, she has this interaction with Jackie, her friend, that begins something in the narrative I felt was disturbing.

    When Ginny is talking to Jackie about meeting Luke, she wonders if she’s racist because she reveals that Luke is black (which, to my memory, is the first time his race is ever mentioned) and she’s nervous. Jackie comments that she doesn’t think Ginny is racist, merely cautious because all women need to be cautious these days, especially if you’re meeting someone from online. That was said, I was done, moving on.

    HOWEVER, then Ginny is waiting in the car prior to her date with Luke and is having second thoughts and, rather than thinking she’d made a mistake meeting a man from the Internet, she specifically states a black man from the Internet. While she’s not a vile racist spewing slurs all over the place, that statement right there is evidence there’s at least a little racism going on in that head of hers and excusing it under the guise of caution annoyed me. The author could’ve left Ginny’s thoughts at a man from the Internet, but by adding that note she added another layer of meaning and not a good one, rather a potentially harmful one that wasn’t necessary.

    And while we’re on the subject, once she does meet Luke for the date, while I’m saying caution is good, Ginny throws what little she had, laced as it was with the aforementioned bad feeling, to the wind because she assumes that based on Luke’s appearance he couldn’t possibly be a rapist or a murderer. This has nothing to do with skin color, just his clean cut appearance. Dear God, woman, ANYONE can be a serial killer or rapist, have you not seen American Psycho? I don’t understand how Ginny could flip between these two extremes so quickly.

    (87%) really highlighted something a genuinely foolish act on Ginny’s part that felt like the cherry on top of the hate I’d gathered for this character. She and Cal are moving on with the divorce. He has, at some point, found out about her trial dating service, and threatens to use that as leverage in the divorce (yet another thing that is mentioned once and never again). So, when Ginny finally does read the divorce contract that was served to her, she reads it carefully, apparently…and then signs it without showing it to her lawyer.

    That was the single STUPIDEST thing I think she did in the entire book. She had no history with law, other than reading a couple of books in preparation for getting divorced, she knows nothing about the intricacies of a contract, but because she thinks it sounds fair after a couple of reads she decides to just go ahead and sign it without showing her lawyer. I was really hoping for something to back to bite her in the ass at that point because she would’ve deserved it for being so quick to sign and careless. She only thought about how foolish it was after she’d dropped the contract off in the mailbox.

    After that horrible incident, things were starting to wrap up and I was coming to the conclusion that, while I felt sorry for Ginny because of the emotional abuse and disliked her for a great deal of other things, there was no way the author could make me hate her more. I was wrong. She holds a barbecue at her house, inviting some friends, and while that was nice, one of the people she invites is her old co-worker, Clark (he was downsized early on in the story) and his girlfriend Maya. Her treatment of Maya demonstrated that she puts down other people to, ostensibly, make herself feel better about being plus size (which is NOT a bad thing, but it’s her issue here).

    (95%) When Clark shows up with his girlfriend, Maya, Ginny describes her as bland. Seeing as Ginny doesn’t know her very well and doesn’t have the slightest idea what the relationship is like, this was insulting. When she accepts the tulips that Maya brought and is out of the room, she was internally gleeful that Maya was bland. This haughty and bitchy reaction was due, in part, to Ginny believing that Clark had had, and might still have, a crush on her, which she enjoyed even though she hadn’t been in a position to act upon it.

    Maya was among strangers and it never occurred to Ginny that maybe she’s uncomfortable around them. Ginny never had any interest in Clark as a love interest until he was taken by someone else. That was infuriating because, again, she has NO idea what Clark and Maya’s relationship is like outside of this one time she’s meeting her.

    At the end, the very end, Ginny has decided to go to law school and start a practice to help abused women and their families. That was the best move she probably made the entire book.

    The Book - Pacing

    The book lagged so badly through the majority of the story. I would check the finished percentage fairly infrequently and still be astonished at how little progress was being made. The littlest things were dragged out, like Ginny's obsession with Arby's or her engaging with her dog; the trouble with Kelly that never really amounted to anything. She was never really punished, not in a meaningful way, nor did she have to see a counselor of any kind for her acting out behavior (pot smoking, excessive lying, etc). The only time a counselor was brought up was after the divorce papers were signed, when Kelly's whole demeanor had changed. It's like a light switch flipped and I still don't know why.

    I think that a lot of the excess material from this book could have been removed, turning it into a novella, and maybe, MAYBE, it would have been salvageable. As it is, there's no way I'll consider picking up another book by this author. This was too bad of an experience to warrant trying again.







    I received this audiobook at no-cost from Audiobookworm Promotions. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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