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To Shake the Sleeping Self: A Journey from Oregon to Patagonia, and a Quest for a Life with No Regret
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To Shake the Sleeping Self: A Journey from Oregon to Patagonia, and a Quest for a Life with No Regret

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  601 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
New York Times bestseller - "Thrilling, tender, utterly absorbing . . . Every chapter shimmered with truth." --Cheryl Strayed

From travel writer Jedidiah Jenkins comes a long-awaited memoir of adventure, struggle, and lessons learned while bicycling the 14,000 miles from Oregon to Patagonia.

On the eve of turning thirty, terrified of being funneled into a life he didn't cho
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by Convergent Books
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Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars. this is a memoir about doing something worth writing a memoir about. jed's a fine writer, but his point of view is a too benign for a travelogue. good for him for taking on such an audacious adventure, for growing as a person, for working out his faith, but, if he's presenting all of that in memoir form, he should have worked on making that story more interesting for us. there were missed opportunities for humor, for rawer confession, for penetrating insights into himself and others. ...more
Roxana Barnett
Oct 10, 2018 rated it liked it
I really wanted to love this book. I followed his travels on Instagram. I enjoyed his interviews. I love a good travelogue. I enjoyed the first half of the book, but by the second half I was ready for it to be done. Good for him for taking this journey, but he’s just not that interesting. All of the religious guilt and baggage was irritating. I just wanted him to let go of it and have some wild sex, and be free. His privilege was so apparent and he didn’t seem to recognize it. I appreciated his ...more
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Disclosure - I received this book as a promotion, through Crown Publishing and PRH, and Jed's social media promotion team. THANK YOU!

Now to the important part.
You NEED to read this book.

To begin, I followed Jed on Instagram during his bike ride from Oregon to Patagonia, so I've been waiting for this book since 2014. It did not disappoint. It's a story of a man that is concerned that his job and daily routine has made his brain 'fall asleep' - as opposed to children, who are awake, and asking qu
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: biography
I may return to this at some point in the future, but for the moment I won't be finishing this book. Jenkins is a good writer, but the story isn't as interesting as a it should be, it's just.... fine.
Oct 08, 2018 rated it liked it

I was so excited to finally have this book in hand, to finally read all about this epic quest bicycle ride from Oregon to Patagonia by a writer I love from Instagram.
And Jedidiah’s beautiful writing was there. The trip was adventurous, he describes his reflections, on both his life and his travels, with honesty.
And I did like the book. But I’d didn’t love it.
Parts felt shallow and oblivious to me, some parts felt very aware of a social media audience, a bit status and approval seeking, and
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I devoured this book. It has left me with a lot of feelings. I first found Jed on Instagram a year or so ago and quickly became obsessed with his adventure pics and the thoughtful, vulnerable vignettes he posted with them. I wanted to read this book bc I love him and trusted that his writing would teach me something. Was then lucky enough to receive an advance copy from Crown Publishing and be selected to be a PRH partner. I am generally not a fan of travelogues and barely knew that South Americ ...more
Fiona Bledsoe
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First of all, a huge and gracious thanks to Jed and the team at Crown Publishing, PRH, and so on — to every finger and every inspiration responsible for the publishing of this book.

I patiently awaited this story for five years. At the time that Jedidiah announced that he was going on this trip and planned to write a book about it, I wasn’t doing much reading, but I knew that when the time came, I wouldn’t miss this for anything.

After years of just living my life, going through high school and
Liz Schomber
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I first found Jed on Instagram and loved his travel posts. I loved the voice he gave to the people and places he was traveling to. His posts always seemed so raw and real. I expected the same from his book. In most ways I got that, it did feel lacking in some ways and dare I say seemed almost whiney at times.

This IS a book for anyone that has questioned their 9-5 existence and wanted to do more. This IS a book for anyone that has wondered if they are capable of risking everything for a big adve
Sian Lile-Pastore
Nov 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, travel
I thought this was going to be quite different to what it was. I brought a lot of expectation to it, probably quite unfairly, and it didn't/couldn't deliver. Essentially I wanted it to be Wild by Cheryl Strayed but more Gary Snyder-esque. I wanted it to be a Buddhist , spiritual nature thing when it was actually a nerdy Christian (kinda his description) goes on a long bike ride. I enjoyed the discussions on faith, especially linked with the author being gay, but as a whole, I wasn't transformed. ...more
Nadeen Talbot
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, favorites
What an honor it was to catch a glimpse inside Jed’s mind. This book shook my world. It helped reshape my values, deconstruct my views on my career and reevaluate all aspects of my life. Jed’s become a huge hero of mine over the past couple of years and this book added a layer of depth to the already immaculate view I had of him. The sleeping self has been SHOOK
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I wanted to read this slower to enjoy it longer, but I just couldn’t put it down. Such a beautifully written story that felt so true to my own heart. I highly recommend reading this, especially if you have experienced faith questions.
Katy Ann
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
Jed was lost in the hum drum of following societal social roles and rules.

Jed embarks on a personal pilgrimage in search of self.

Jed reaches the physical destination of his journey and concludes that life has no final cosmic reveal.

A book without a meaty center. It will not sustain or satisfy the hungry travelogue reader. It reveals little insight or different viewpoints on negatively seen cities and people, and it certainly doesn’t offer much in self discovery either.

I’m left wondering if I w
Aug 31, 2018 rated it liked it
I was very excited for this book, but found it to be pretty repetitive. I’ve followed Jed’s Instagram for a long time, and have loved many of the things he has written there. While there was some of that in this book, it was definitely not a favorite. It was a great picture of going out and doing something wildly out of your comfort zone, though. And for that alone I’m really glad I read it.
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fourteen thousand miles. The scope of a trip that long, on bicycle, is almost unfathomable. I started following Jenkins on Instagram back in 2014 when he was about half-way through his bicycling trip from Oregon to Patagonia, a trip that covered the West Coast of the United States, Mexico, Central America, and South America. I've looked forward to reading his memoir to accompany so many of the amazing sights he regularly posted along his route, and I'd highly recommend that anyone reading this b ...more
Warren Hamilton
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2018
I don't really know how I could rate this as anything other than five stars. Or how anyone could, really. I mean what, you rate it one star because you don't like bicycles or something? In general I have a hard time giving low ratings to biographies (on the condition that they are well written of course, a poorly written book will always garner poor ratings I suppose) because I admire the fact that someone is willing to unveil their life, or a piece of it, to the world. Now, this isn't a biograp ...more
Oct 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Jedidiah Jenkins became famous when his bike journey from Oregon to Patagonia got promoted by the Instagram official account. "To Shake the Sleeping Self" is the long form story of that trip. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the book is that it raises questions about modern storytelling: when should a story be let out to air and on what platforms? I found myself periodically putting a bookmark in to take a moment and scroll back in time on the Instagram feeds of Jenkins or other characters ...more
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
To Shake the Sleeping Self is a masterpiece. It's a road trip narrative, a story about a young man coming terms with his conservative upbringing and sexuality, and a disquieting look at our expectation toward travel.

Approaching his 30th birthday with a sense of mounting dread, Jedidiah Jenkins decides to do something crazy and unexpected: Bike from Oregon to Patagonia. In spite of having zero biking experience, Jenkins embarks on his adventure with relish - anticipating a transformative personal
Amanda Dahl
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Does the travel bug bite hard when you see glamorous snapshots or read about an amazing adventure somewhere far, far away? Jedidiah Jenkins can offer you that - and something more. A raw, authentic glimpse into how travel may not have all the answers, but it can introduce you to the right questions to ask.

Reading Jed's narrative on his 14,000 mile journey certainly inspires one to pack their bags, while also recognizing the growing pains that result from this type of self-discovery. From a fores
Calynn Klohn
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First of all, this was a memoir that definitely held my attention. I zipped through it, and it left me thinking every time I closed it. It’s sweet and simple, and Jed is so darn lovable as a character. I give it 5 stars for putting a lovely feeling in my heart. However, I wanted to know so much more. Jed’s journey with his spirituality and sexuality were set up to be a fascinating undercurrent in his travels, especially because his parents had been on a similar journey, one that no doubt fulled ...more
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm glad I waited a day to review as it's allowed me to decide what I think having read this book in a weekend, honestly not knowing what to expect. I love Jedidiah's writing on instagram and find his point of view interesting and challenging. I was genuinely curious to read about his trip and the book certainly offers a close look at the adventure. Somehow, he makes it sound perfectly reasonable to do a big, beautiful, scary thing like cycle the Americas for over a year and I'm grateful for tha ...more
James Hasler-Bail
Nov 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Been following Jed on social media for a while and he inspired my own trip to South America so I was keen for this! Great start and I enjoyed the initial launch into the trip however it felt as it went on that it became about simply recounting action by action until the end and I lost some interest in the second half. Though well written, and honest, I felt like I was rereading the same thoughts and feelings throughout until a final conclusion at the very end and wanted to see more action throug ...more
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
I received this book as a giveaway --- thank you Goodreads and Crown Publishing Group/Penguin Random House!

Part travelogue, part spiritual quest, this book about Jed Jenkins' 14 month bike journey from Oregon to Patagonia was an enjoyable read. Jenkins writes well, and he did a good job of intertwining his descriptions of the areas in which he was traveling, and the people he met, with his own inner struggles with his Christian faith and the insecurities he felt throughout his life. I particular
Emily Creek
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jed’s words have meant a lot to me over the years— but this book brought me a whole new level of peace. Though my life is my own journey very different from his, a lot of his thoughts, his questions, and his heart align with what I have been wrestling with. I don’t have answers, just like he doesn’t. But there’s a relief in knowing someone else thinks these things, and a hope in knowing that you can take a season of your life to simply figure it out and be. Thanks Jedidiah. I want everyone to re ...more
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'd followed Jenkin's journey on Instagram in real-ish time. I enjoyed hearing the story behind the photos and captions. I wondered reading this if because he captured so much in photographs if he didn't spend as much time setting the scene for the reader. I had to try to recall photos to be able to conjure up the image of where he was - the description in writing really lacked. The exploration of the journey within the journey was more shallow than I'd hoped. The changing of names threw me,
Alycia Speasmaker
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What an adventure it was reading this book.
The thrill of my heart leaping from my chest, the way it did when I read the explorer, Richard Halliburton's books as a kid.
Acknowledging my clenched jaw and tightened shoulders as Jedidiah recounted events so similar to ones I've lived; words cutting deep to truths from which I'd rather look away.
And the giant, full-body, sighs when Jedidiah's words felt sacred, reminding me of the bigness, the smallness, the connectedness of this great adventure we're
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“To Shake the Sleeping Self” is an amazing adventure from start to finish. As the reader we get to follow the authors, Jedidiah, on his 14,000 mile bike journey that takes us through Oregon,California, Mexico, and South America with tons of stories and life perspectives all the way through. Jedidiah is the ultimate story teller and I was hanging on every word he said. His outlook on life is uplifting and motivating. I felt like I was on his trip with him while reading this book. If you want a bo ...more
Dasha Ivanova
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
After I listened to a podcast episode with Jedidiah, I got so excited to read the book. And while reading it, I was trying to convince myself that the book was ok, that it would say me something interesting. But it didn't. No interesting ideas, even the language is boring and not what I would expect from someone saying that he wanted to write a book for many years (and I'm not even a native speaker).
I agree with the other reviewer that the author didn't try to make the book interesting to the r
Juliet Coen
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Jed’s writing is absolutely wonderful. I originally thought he would be kind of gritty and intense, but from the very first chapter I realized I was wrong. He is relatable, funny, and so down to earth. This book is truly an adventure, and it was thrilling every step of the way. His discussions on God and his family was perfect. Normally I would have found those topics boring and unnecessary, but they truly helped the reader feel invested in the experience. The worst thing about this book was com ...more
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a pretty quick read, and I liked the adventure of it. And there were moments of great insight about adventure and routine and life. But I also wanted a lot more, though of what I'm not exactly sure. I would probably give it 3.5 stars, but I'll round up;)

My favorite part was knowing a lot of the places he talks about from being there, often on my bike:) I didn't really identify with his struggle with belief in God, but it was interesting to read about. All in all, pretty good, just not
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“It is astonishing how ideas can change an experience. How we can be in a beautiful forest, on a hike through verdant beauty, but if someone told us that the forest was the site of a brutal massacre, the entire hike would be transformed. It would turn ominous and sad. Or if I was told the forest was where Walk Whitman had walked every morning before working on "Leaves of Grass," the place would take on a holy majesty. Same forest. Same trail and trees. But the idea layered on top of it mutates it, glorifies or damns it.” 2 likes
“I didn't know what I was holding on to. I had wrapped my life in the fear of messing up. Of disappointing God, which really meant disappointing my mom and friends. I was finding that so much of my life had been about avoiding the feeling of being in trouble.” 1 likes
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