Book Review: To Shake the Sleeping Self

I don’t read many books. Typically any books I read are because they are assigned or required for some reason. It’s not that I don’t like books… I often just can’t find the time or don’t make time to sit down to read. This time was different, however. My friend and mentor Wyn Wiley gifted my a book by an adventurer by the name of Jedidiah Jenkins (as he notes himself in the book, quite a sing-song name). The subtitle for the book is: A Journey From Oregon To Patagonia, And a Quest for Life With No Regret. Sheesh that’s impactful. So I began to read the book. And finished it in three days.

Jedidiah has an amazing way of writing that really pulls you into the narrative and makes you feel like you are along for the ride with them. His timeline of the journey is eloquently woven in with flashbacks and stories that supplement the story perfectly: one of adventure, self-discovery, exploration, and introspection. Few books I’ve picked up before have given me as much motivation as this one has, forcing me to do some reflection on my own life and see what I can do to make sure no time is wasted.

Perhaps this is because I can relate to him on a number of levels, being a free-spirited, gay, adventurous photographer raised in a Christian household Jedidiah’s story is one I can connect with, even decades apart: one of internal struggle and a need to find out what this life is about. And though the idea of a quest to find out answers to questions like “Who am I?” and “What are we here for?” sounds so cliche and over-done, I’ve come to realize that there aren’t many people who actually put their money where their mouth is and follow through with their plans. Though one might not need to bike to Patagonia to discover what life has in store for them, hearing this story can be empowering to anyone of any background.

Overall, one of the best autobiographies/travel journals I’ve ever read.

You can purchase a copy of the book on Amazon.