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Reviewed by Jennie More for Readers' Favorite
Bag O’ Goodies by Jolly Walker Bittick is a set of poems and short stories including characters from the U.S Navy and biker gangs. Predominant themes in the book include alcoholism, friendship, and romantic encounters and relationships. All the poems and short stories seem connected. Bag O’ Goodies touches on some serious social and cultural issues, including racism, love, crime, and alcoholism, but is still lighthearted, considerate, and insightful. Bittick entertains his readers while allowing them to be introspective as they connect the dots and find the meaning in the stories. The poems are somehow connected to the short stories, making them relevant to the overall book. The characters are well-conceived and realistic. The plot is true-to-life and fluid, making Bag O’ Goodies a timeless work.
Bag O’ Goodies by Jolly Walker Bittick left me contemplating the meaning of each story. Bittick has applied great care in compiling these stories to create meaningful messages that resonate deeply with readers. My favorite short story was At The Gate because Bittick conveyed a powerful message that is highly relevant in today’s racially charged world, showing how perspective matters and that we build bridges by confronting complex topics, not by avoiding them. Bag O’ Goodies is a contemporary, rich, feel-good book that I enjoyed reading. The poems added a good sense of comic relief, with a sassy tone, providing a pleasant interlude in between the more serious and heavier short stories. Bag O’ Goodies is well-written and entertaining, making it a pleasure to read.