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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

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  1,626 ratings  ·  180 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.
Chelsie Leigh
Nov 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Don’t want to be completely negative because some people might really like this, but it just wasn’t for me.
I did enjoy the scenery descriptions, Jed’s travel buddy Wes was a very interesting character as well as the random people they met along the way.
That said, Jed is a man who decides on a whim to bike from Oregon to Patagonia in South America.
He’s lived his life up to 30 abiding by the religion and belief system he was raised into, living on the safe side - never taking chances - always sc
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
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
Noelle Franz
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. Not a page turner at all, but somehow was so easy to keep reading. I think I just really loved how honest he was in his whole journey. Refreshing to hear someone be so real. Throughout the book it’s his struggle of answering certain questions and beliefs, discovering it’s ok not to have all the answers. Makes me wanna buy a bike an just go!
Olivia Caridi
Jan 06, 2019 rated it liked it
I reeeeally wanted to love this book! Following the adventure on Instagram was great, but I just felt like the book barely skimmed the surface in every aspect. The storytelling, the description, all of it could have gone deeper, and instead it just...didn’t. I don’t want to take away from the experience, because WOW, what a feat. It just unfortunately didn’t translate into a novel for me.
Julia Goodhart
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
I really enjoy Jedidiah’s vignettes on Instagram & elsewhere - they’re thought-provoking and unique. But I rarely found this book as interesting. As some other folks mentioned, he seemed to glaze over engaging w spirituality, sexuality, and privilege, in any meaningful way. Or he mentions a topic briefly and then moves on. I didn’t really feel like I got a whole picture of the folks he stayed with. They seemed to be generalized a bit. It felt much more to be cursory descriptions of what he w ...more
3.5 stars

In the 1970s I read Peter Jenkins' A WALK ACROSS AMERICA and it ignited my love for anything involving true adventure and since then I have been driven to read just about anything that incorporates some sort of challenging physical endeavor. When I discovered his son, Jedidiah, had written a book about biking from Oregon to the tip of Patagonia, I got a copy as soon as possible. However, while the road adventures were compelling and Jed's honesty and self-reflection about his personal b
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
Callie Sokoloski
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dammit, Jed. He did it again. Put words to paper that have me reaching for my highlighter every ten minutes. Jed is one of my all time favorite writers - I mean that sincerely. His main writing medium is Instagram, so we get his words in dribs and drabs. I couldn’t wait to read a full book of his wisdom. No disappointments here. Travel memoirs haven’t been something I’m interested in historically... but I loved this presentation. It mostly observes life while on tour, with sprinkles of Jed’s exi ...more
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
I didn’t finish this book. I returned this book after 5 chapters. I have never ever returned a book, so I thought this deserved a review. Maybe it isn’t fair that I am reviewing on just a few chapters, but I felt the need to share.
I just don’t believe the author. Maybe I am wrong and this is of course, my opinion. But, he never once rode a bike or researched before heading on this trip? He wasn’t influenced by his parents who went on a similar voyage in their youth? He has no money? He hit a gr
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
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
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.
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.
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars
I read this book in just two days and could have finished it one day if that pesky Christmas-thing wasn't just around the corner. As the title describes, this memoir is the author's report of the 1 1/2 years he took a break from life to bicycling 14,000 miles from Oregon to Patagoni. I love travel books (Paul Theroux is my favorite travel author), and this book did not disappoint.
Reading To Shake the Sleeping Self is to go side-by-side on an adventure with the author, it is so much mor
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
Brittany Dolezal
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This whole journey was inspiring, down-to-earth, and honest. I think what I appreciated most about Jenkins writing was how unpretentious it all was. I think he described his story best when he mentioned it would be like telling a friend about your adventure over a few drinks. There were some who gave this book a really bad rating and I dont understand. I dont think this story was trying to be anything else than what it was and for that I really enjoyed it. Also, I loved Weston's character so muc ...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
Jan 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019-books
I enjoy travel writing and hoped this would be in the tradition of Cheryl Strayed or Paul Theroux. The premise intrigues: biking from Portland, Oregon all the way to Patagonia, the southernmost point of Chile. I would have liked for Jed to show more self-reflection, but again and again he makes a trite, skin-deep observation about himself, about religion, about the mass of humanity around him, but his attention glances off and he misses the deeper questions.

His viewpoint seems entrenched in eva
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book and what the author experienced through this time in his life. Highly recommend
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a journey! I loved reading about it. Would definitely give a 4.5. Maybe not mind-blowing for me, but I enjoyed reading. I love Jedidiah’s writing...definitely worth a follow on Instagram. It was fun to follow his journey there and read more details in this memoir. Thanks to my sis for gifting me this book.
Dec 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Really more of a 3.5 but the rating system doesn't allow for that.
Dec 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography, travel
I enjoyed this. I really thought it was going to address more about the restlessness of the human spirit and how traveling alone from your home to a new destination, meeting new people, etc, would help calm the soul. Not so much about that here, and Jenkins has managed to write a nice story of his travels, just not a revolutionary one in terms of finding the cure to common restlessness
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.
Keith Alston
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent... I was very pleasantly surprised by this book.
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
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“Traveling alone, you get to be whoever you want. I don't mean lie. I mean you get to be a blank slate. You can't leave behind your skin color, or your height, or the handsomeness or homeliness of your face. But you can leave your story behind. If you've broken hearts, the new place doesn't know. If you've lost trust in people and yourself, the new place doesn't know. If everyone thinks you love Jesus, but you never really have figured out what you believe, the new place doesn't care. It may assume you have it all tied nicely in a bow. All your thoughts and histories. Just feeling like your past isn't a vice to hold you in place can be very freeing. Feeling like your family and the expectations and the traditions and the judgments are absent... it can fill your veins with possibility and fire.” 3 likes
“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
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