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

Jedidiah Jenkins. Convergent, $26 (336p) ISBN 978-1-5247-6138-7
Following loosely in the footsteps of his parents, authors of A Walk Across America (first published in 1979), Jenkins tells of his bike trip from Oregon to Patagonia in this thought-provoking and inspirational memoir. He decided on the expedition because he felt his “youth was passing” as he was about to turn 30. He believed travel would resensitize him to life, and also thought the journey would help him square his identity as a gay man with his beliefs as a Christian. Much of his writing focuses on his internal feelings—a mix of emotional dives into his past, present, and future—rather than the physical journey. Still, there’s some fun and vibrant travel writing here, including stories about tripping on mushrooms, seeing a butterfly migration, and exploring Machu Picchu. Jenkins is joined briefly by Weston, an improvising free spirit who loves weed and shuns money and religions; he plays foil to Jenkins and adds levity while challenging the author’s beliefs. The narrative is about the journey, not the destination, and though Jenkins doesn’t find all the answers, he does feel “a warm direction, a positive pulling toward something else.” This uplifting memoir and travelogue will remind readers of the power of movement for the body and the soul. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/03/2018
Release date: 10/02/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 352 pages
Ebook - 978-1-5247-6139-4
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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