To Shake The Sleeping Self by Jedidiah Jenkins (3 out of 5)

Another December read. This one ran into January, because I had a hard time digging in and advancing happily into its pages. This was being read on New Years Day, when I was unapologetically watching a Chopped marathon. This was the perfect book to read, because I could throw it down and not miss much. It sounds as if I’m dissing Jenkins’ travelogue, but I’m not. Everyone who knows me the past year knows I’ve become even more restless. My nature is that of a homebody, but I can’t lie. If I didn’t have my dad alive and well with me, I would sell the house, drag my ass and belongings West or South, and tell the Land of Corrupted Lincoln to kiss my dimpled cheeks. The older I get, the more restless I ge t. I think anyone who’s footloose and fancy free gets what I’m saying. As a result, I’ve found myself reading more books about the quest to become one with your surroundings, your life, etc. Basically, I am overdosing on armchair travel books. I also liked this book because of the author’s first name…the first four letters spell out JEDI. Yes, I’m that insipid.

Jedidiah Jenkins sets out on quite a journey. On the verge of turning 30, he decides to bicycle 14,000 miles from Oregon to Patagonia. He fears he’s being pigeonholed into a life he doesn’t want to live. He’s struggling with his sexual identity and trying to play peacemaker with it and his conservative upbringing. Jenkins does a thorough job detailing those that he befriends on his journey, the destinations and how he traverses to get to and from those destinations, all the way posting his journey and inspired quotes on Instagram. Despite being on the threshold of 30, Jenkins makes it very clear to the reader that he’s having a hard time trying to go about the business of being an adult. And really, who can blame him? I’m 46 and spent most of 40-43 bitching about and avoiding that reality. But as far as coming to life altering precipices, Jenkins doesn’t conquer them as much as he scales them and offers forth frothy assurances. It’s a memoir loaded with highlights like Party City is loaded with false cheer for parents. The soul heavy and confidence deep pool he wades in is filled with inflatable crocs and a Richard Simmons video on the TV poolside. Good intentions not delivered. The book, as a whole, feels like an incredible premise that fails to deliver a gut punch of wakeup calls to the reader. Not too bad of a read, but don’t convince yourself it’s a life changing read. Unfortunately, not the case. It is a pleasant excursion to a far away destination brought to us by a pleasant tour guide. The book is currently available in hardcover.

~ by generationgbooks on January 17, 2019.

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