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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

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dee
  • LA
  • 03-14-17

This book had me at "The"!

Any additional comments?

I. Enjoyed. This. Listen. So. Much.

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.

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

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As a fellow procrastinator I understand!

I wonder how many women in America are like Ginny Cooper: miserable in their marriage, afraid to speak up and stand up to their emotionally abusive husbands. After so many years their soul shrivels into little worms, and it will take a serious amount of momentum and self-determination to get out of their situation.

This book has made me take special notice of my marriage. I am fortunate to have a very strong wife who is not afraid to stand up to me if I upset or offend her in any way, and I feel our relationship is stronger and long-lasting because of it. However, Ginny is the polar opposite of my wife: meek, timid, afraid to stand up for herself, and it’s frustration being an observer to this.

The To-Do List was a very interesting listen. It was a linear story - there were no twists or turns. But it was a tale that peeked into the life of an abused woman and how she mentally coped with it, and how she turned it around. I think it’s hilarious how she never got anything done. Her to-do list remained static for most of the book. As a fellow procrastinator I understand!

As the narrator, Sara Sheckells did an outstanding job. I love how she integrated the personality of each character into her voice. Cal was a prick in the story, and Sheckells made me want to punch him every time he opened his mouth. He kids Kevin and Kelly were the typical parent-averting, tech-savvy disrespectful teenagers of today’s generation, and Sheckells nailed their acts.

This audiobook was gifted to me in exchange for an unbiased review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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.

I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator. This review is my honest opinion.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Larry
  • chenoa, il, United States
  • 03-03-18

Great story!

I loved this story because it was so real. THE characters are fun. I found myself becoming a cheerleader for Ginnyy!! The narration by Sarra Sheckells was great! I would recommend this book I received this audiobook at no-cost from Audiobookworm Promotions. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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Enjoyable!

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

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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.

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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

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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.