Reading Challenges–2019

I’ve signed up for a number of reading challenges this year:

I have written sign-up posts for all the reading challenges except 52 Books in 52 Weeks, Des Moines Public Library Reading Challenge and Goodreads Reading Challenge. They didn’t require sign-up posts.

52 Books in 52 Weeks (hosted by Liz @ Mommy Mannegren)

This reading challenge has 52 categories and participants choose books to read that fit each category. It should be lots of fun since there are some great categories!

Des Moines Public Library Reading Challenge

This challenge is hosted by my local library and I’m very excited to participate! There are 12 topics and the idea is to read a book which fits the topic each month. They can be read in any order.

Goodreads Reading Challenge

I have challenged myself to read 95 books this year.


I’m working on pages for each challenge for my blog. I will keep track of each book I read that matches one of my challenges and when I review a book I will add a link to the review on my blog.

Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge

cloak and dagger reading challenge

The Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge is hosted by Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! & Barb @ Book T’s Farm. Contact one of them for more information about the challenge.

I have done this reading challenge several times and really enjoy it since I’m enjoying reading mysteries so much. However, I always have problems remembering to link my reviews. I’ll try to remember to do that more this year.

Challenge Goals

  • Read at the Special Agent Level — 36 – 55 books
  • Review as many of the mysteries I read as possible
  • Try to remember to link up my reviews

Challenges Rules

  • Read any book that is from the mystery/suspense/thriller/crime genres. Any sub-genres are welcome as long as they incorporate one of these genres.
  • You don’t need a blog to participate but you do need a place to post your reviews to link up. (blog, goodreads, booklikes, shelfari, etc.)
  • Make a goal post and link it back here with your goal for this challenge.
  • Books need to be novellas or novels, please no short stories. (At least 100 pages +)
  • Crossovers into other challenges  are fine.
  • The Challenge will  be from Jan. 1st to Dec. 31st. (Sign up ends March 15th)

What challenges have you signed up for?

Review: Black Velvet by Steven Henry

Black Velvet by Steven HenryBlack Velvet by Steven Henry

Series: The Erin O’Reilly Mysteries #1

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural, K-9

Setting: New York City

Source: Ebook, purchased

Publishing Date: 2017

224 pages

Synopsis: Erin learned a lot from her partner: stay alert, follow your nose, and once you’ve got your teeth in them, never let go. 

It’s tough working nights with the NYPD. The crime rate is high, the hours are terrible, and forget about a personal life. So when Officer O’Reilly and her K-9 Rolf switch over to the day shift, things are looking up. She’s even able to find time for a new boyfriend. 

But when the theft of a priceless painting from the Queens Museum leaves a fellow police officer dead, Erin and her four-legged partner find themselves dealing with dangerous criminals, sleazy art dealers, and obstructive detectives in a race to capture the killers…and just maybe bring closure to a 75-year-old crime.

My thoughts

This is the first book I’ve read by Steven Henry and I liked it. There’s already another book in this series and I plan to read it.

I like police procedurals and especially like ones that include K-9 dogs! Erin O’Reilly is a patrol officer for the NYPD and her partner is a German Shepherd named Rolf. Her dad was also a cop for NYPD so she knows what the job entails and she’s an enthusiastic and dedicated officer. She and Rolf work well together and trust each other. Erin gets a certain amount of obstruction from male officers which I think most women who have worked in a male dominated workplace will recognize. But she’s also respected by many of her fellow officers as well as her lieutenant.

While she’s on a date a robbery takes place and even though she’s dressed for a date and doesn’t have her gun she calls in the details and runs after the thieves. This leads her to get more involved in the case than a patrol officer normally would. The detectives whose case it is don’t appreciate her involvement and warn her to stay away from the case. Of course, she doesn’t listen and I thought that was the weakest part of the story. I thought neither the detectives nor Erin acted like professional police officers. I guess it was necessary for the story, but that bothered me.

I didn’t feel as much emotional connection with Erin as I would have expected. I think that’s because she didn’t show flaws or weaknesses that she had to work through during the course of the story. I hope I feel I get to know more about Erin in future books and that she shows some of her weaknesses as well as her strengths.

As a whole, I enjoyed the story. I liked reading about Erin and Rolf’s interactions, the characters in the story and the mystery though I did figure out who was behind the theft. I do want to read future books about Erin and Rolf.

My Rating: C+

Have you read any books by this author?

Reading Challenges

Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge hosted by Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge hosted by the POPSUGAR website — A book involving a heist

My reading challenges


I really enjoy reading challenges. I love a challenge I have to work to complete. They also help me try new authors I might not read otherwise, listen to more audiobooks, read more of my TBR pile. I don’t change the types of books I read so much as try to see if I can find more that might help me complete a challenge.

I’m signing up for five challenges I’ve done before and two new challenges. Last year I signed up eight challenges. This year I have one less challenge, but I may decide to sign up for one or two more next week!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My Reading Challenges–2016

I am planning to participate in the following year-long reading challenges in 2016 (each challenge is linked to the page on my blog where I will list the books I read and where you can find more information about the challenge):

Audiobook Challenge

  • I’m challenging myself to listen to 20 – 30 audiobooks

Cloak and Dagger Challenge

  • I’m challenging myself to read 31+ mysteries

Goodreads Challenge

  • I’m challenging myself to read 100 books

New Author Challenge

  • I’m challenging myself to read at least 30 new authors

New Release Challenge

  • I’m challenging myself to read 31 to 45 new releases

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Book Bingo

  • I’m challenging myself to complete at least one bingo or fill in 10 random squares.

TBR Pile Challenge

  • I’m challenging myself to read 31 – 40 TBR books

Are you planning to do any reading challenges this year?


2016 Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge


This reading challenge is hosted by Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! and Barb @ Booker T’s Farm

2016 Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge

I kind of participated in this challenge last year–meaning that I signed up for it and continued to list mysteries I read throughout the year, but I didn’t link any of mysteries after the first month or so. And when the challenge was abandoned by the blogger who hosted it last year I didn’t switch the challenge over to Stormi’s blog. (Sorry about that, Stormi. I meant to, but didn’t get it done.)


Anyway, I did read quite a few mysteries last year–28 mysteries in 2015. I hope to read a few more this year and have some lined up so I’m going to try the Special Agent level — 31+ books.

Other Details

I will try to link my reviews in the monthly link up. There are also giveaways at the halfway mark and at the end of the year.


What challenges are you participating in this year?