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

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  11,709 ratings  ·  1,232 reviews
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - "With winning candor, Jedidiah Jenkins takes us with him as he bicycles across two continents and delves deeply into his own beautiful heart."--Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild and Tiny Beautiful Things

On the eve of turning thirty, terrified of being funneled into a life he didn't choose, Jedidiah Jenkins quit his dream job and spent sixteen month
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by Convergent Books
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Mary Kate "Weston" is Philip Crosby, you can find him on Instagram. I think they stayed friends after the trip as they frequently like and comment on each other…more"Weston" is Philip Crosby, you can find him on Instagram. I think they stayed friends after the trip as they frequently like and comment on each other's stuff.(less)

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Average rating 3.92  · 
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 ·  11,709 ratings  ·  1,232 reviews

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Start your review of To Shake the Sleeping Self: A Journey from Oregon to Patagonia, and a Quest for a Life with No Regret
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
Chelsie Leigh (katetbookclub)
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
Apr 10, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: bicycles
I am an avid cyclist who has been planning to ride to Patagonia for years. I also love reading about cycling. My wife got me this book for a christmas present and I finally got around to reading it. I'm not sure how he did it but the attorney for Kony 2012 figured out a way to make a book ostensibly about cycling to Patagonia a bore filled with skin deep philosophizing and a shallow depth of understanding.

To begin with, he claims that he was serendipitously connected with some Instagram executi
To Shake the Sleeping Self interested me because my family had both A Walk Across America and A Walk West on our bookshelves during my childhood. A Walk Across America was a very meaningful book for me, as it was the first travel memoir that I read (or even saw) and it sparked a love for the genre that has lasted for forty years. As a child, I was inspired by Peter Jenkins' journey and longed to make a similar trip one day. Jedidiah Jenkins is the son of Peter Jenkins. So, not only did the prem ...more
Catherine Norman
Apr 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
The craft beer may have impeded Jed's ability to write a compelling memoir. Lesson learned: Instagram personalities are sometimes just Instagram personalities. I wish there had been more here, but was thoroughly unimpressed, both with the writing and the adventure. I hope he found his life with no regret, but I daresay he took the most privileged approach to getting there. ...more
So much White boy privilege.

Congratulations on an incredible journey, book was meh. I listened to it at 2x. I tried to go to 1x and fell asleep. Insights were superficial, nothing resolved in the end.

And he is soooo unprepared for this undertaking. The part that really drove me batshit was he bought Rosetta Stone to learn Spanish, but didn't use it. Really, dude? You couldn't listen to it on your 1000 mile bike ride from Portland to Mexico? Or at all during your 14 months or whatever it was tim
Mar 01, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted so much to like this book! I was SO excited about the premise, but sadly, it really disappoints. Jed is incredibly sheltered, naive, and privileged, and he barely scratches the surface in examining the above while on his bike trip. He offers only the most superficial observations on religion, sexuality, purpose, etc. For someone who has never once thought about racism or gender or questioned their faith, this book might be mildly interesting. But for anyone who's engaged with any of the ...more
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. ...more
3.5 stars

In the 1970s I read Peter Jenkins' A WALK ACROSS AMERICA which ignited my love for anything involving true adventure. Since then I have been driven to read just about anything that incorporates some sort of challenging physical endeavour. 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 beli
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.
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
Kennett Husseman
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
Framed as a story about adventure and self discovery, this book sadly just feels like Groundhogs Day... every chapter seems to revolve around how many miles ridden, changing flat tires, and finding an agreeable hostel with WiFi to stay in; sometimes peppered with a few paragraphs about self discovery that never seems to come to fruition. The adventure seems to boil down to finding the best cup of coffee in whatever large city he lands in for a week or two. I was hoping for a more introspective r ...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
Missy Barnhart
May 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
The story has the bones to be compelling, but lacks the substance. Jedidiah is a privileged man who got to bike across North America to “find” himself. I’m not entirely sure if he accomplished that, but I can say I’m not pleased I spent so much time reading about it.
Dec 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I am surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I usually am not a fan of white bros who want to travel the world on their bike and are all "wow, it was really scary to spend a few days in a poor country where people live their whole lives," but back to why I liked it. I read this during quarantine and I've been to many of the places he talks about and he has a gift for vividly describing the patagonia and cusco and Mexico such that I felt like I was there again. So that is one reason. The other ...more
Jan 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
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
Rhys Schmidtke
Feb 25, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It's a long ride..

Boring person goes on bike ride to prove he's interesting while having hangups about being gay. Travel as a metaphor for self discovery, just without any discovery.
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 was d ...more
Sian Lile-Pastore
Nov 04, 2018 rated it liked it
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
Okay everyone, time for a drinking game! Inspired by none other than my latest read, To Shake the Sleeping Self: The Longest 336-Page Book I've Ever Read (pretty sure I got that subtitle correct). Get a shot glass and your favorite alcoholic beverage and take a shot every time:

1. Every time Jed and Weston get to a new town and drink craft beer. Half a shot if it's just regular beer.
2. Every time Weston pays for weed while telling Jed he has no money.
3. Every time Weston lets Jed pay his way whil
Cindy Turner
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
A lot of complicated feelings about this book. Mostly I feel confused at the title since the author seems more asleep at the end than he did at the start. I kept waiting for him to get to the real stuff, and I do believe he had real stuff he could have explored, and he never did. He references a close relationship with his mom and she visits him twice on his trip, but she also calls him disgusting for his sexuality and he says he just doesn't bring it up with her anymore. There wasnt any resolut ...more
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
well. i was excited about this book because i love bike touring stories, since i myself am a bike tourer without the stamina to go more than a few hundred miles, but i enjoy reading about others who did. most of these books are written by straight white dudes so i was excited to hear this was by a gay dude. one might think, "but how does your sexuality effect how you ride a bicycle?" and it of course doesn't, but it can effect the way you are treated and therefore change your whole trip.
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
My favorite read of 2019 so far, this book leaves no truth untold and no emotion unfelt. I truly felt like I was on the journey with Jedidiah and definitely got that vibe from the moment he wrote in the very beginning that the book was to be read like a story over dinner. This is not a book that can really be described, it really is one that has to be experienced by the reader. I was slightly disappointed after reading other people's feelings and reviews on this book, but at the same time realiz ...more
Michael Hyatt
Feb 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Next Best Thing to a Personal Quest

Most of us will never bicycle from Oregon to Patagonia. But this book provides the next best thing. It provides the opportunity to traverse great, lonely deserts, hike majestic mountains, and cycle through wide, haunting spaces.

But these are just the canvas on which the author (along with his readers) is invited to rethink his beliefs, his relationships, and his faith. It is at once beautiful, disturbing, and delicious. I can’t wait to read Mr. Jenkins nex
Feb 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
A huge let down. The author begins the trip struggling, mainly with his faith and his sexuality. Neither of these things he's found head way on by the end if the book, he's the same except he rode a bike. From the adventure standpoint he spends so much time hitch hiking like bro weren't you supposed to bike. Bad author, unengaging text, and he seems very pretentious. ...more
Dec 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
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
Stephanie Froebel
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
To Shake the Sleeping Self is hardly about reading for comfort. Do not mix comfort for joy. This memoir was joyous— arguably one of the most joyous, awe-inspiring, reigniting books I have read. These past 5 or so months have been difficult for me mentally, socially, and have compressed a lot of drive that I have once had. 2021 thus far is illuminating that spark for ambition, and To Shake the Sleeping Self only added onto that spark, truly illuminating my sky like the sun.

A lot is changing for
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
quotes that I wished I could have underlined in my library book:

“life can feel effortless, like to you’re carried along by an unseen force. Or it can feel like you’re in a losing fistfight with a brick wall. It all depends on which way you’re headed”

“curious Cheetos”

“I had to think about my journey. About expectations. About destinations. I wanted my spirit quest to answer questions for me. More than that, I needed it to reveal my questions for me, then answer them. What a burden to put on trave
Jul 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. I really enjoyed this one. I found it fitting that I am the age at which Jed is at the beginning of the book. I felt I could relate to him at times and appreciated his honesty throughout. He made me want to go out on a longer than usual (to me) bike ride, maybe a few extra miles, but nowhere near the thousands. 😂
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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.” 16 likes
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