It's a new year, but the classics remain the same

Many of us set an intention, select a word to focus on, or resolve to do something at the start of a brand new year. In other words, we make a resolution; a firm decision to do (or not do) something.

By this point in January though, it is estimated that two-thirds have already dropped their resolutions (some studies even cite specific days, with Jan. 17 and 19 being THE days to give up the goal). And speaking of specific, one reason resolutions fail is that they are too general.

So, if one of your intentions was to read more books or simply spend more time reading, let's get a little more precise. Since crossing something off a list always feels like an accomplishment, a reading challenge list can help you reach your reading goals.

From Book Riot to Goodreads, a near constant on any list is reading a classic. You can reread an old favorite or try a new one.

Here are a few classics that library staff love to read or recommend.

•"A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" by Betty Smith

A coming-of-age novel led by fierce Francie Nolan, the daughter of Irish immigrants in 1900s Brooklyn, as she navigates many struggles. A favorite of mine to read once a year or so, I learn more about the characters and myself each time. It is a book that truly grows with you. - Molly Castor, marketing and outreach manager

• "The Iliad" by Homer

Achilles and Patroclus and their complex, powerful connection resonates with me even though their story was first written centuries ago. Vivid descriptions, exciting adventures and emotional connections can still bring life to a time so distant to us! - Capri Pappas, youth and young adult library assistant

• "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee

As powerful today as it was when released in 1960, it is a southern coming-of-age story told in a thoughtful and humorous voice, dealing with issues of race, justice, and personal ethics. Harper Lee won a Pulitzer Prize for "To Kill A Mockingbird," the only book she published during her lifetime. - Mike Oetting, adult services librarian

• "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott

This is one of my favorite books. I love the different personalities of the four sisters and how they still connect with each other and are close to each other despite their differences. I also really enjoy how the book follows the sisters throughout their life and shows the choices they make and challenges they face while finding their own paths. - Marissa Hegel, patron services associate

• "The Baby-Sitter's Club" series by Ann M. Martin (a modern classic, no?)

I loved the OG series when I was a kid. It was always so exciting to buy the next book in the series at the mall bookstore with my own money. There was just something about this group of friends and how they interacted with each other and the children they were taking care of. They learned a lot while also having a lot of fun! - Jenny Susina, youth services librarian

Keep your reading habits healthy all year with encouragement from your local librarians. We offer reading recommendations (more than just classics!), book club support and tech help. Our new HPL Help Desk can teach you how to get a book loaded to your Kindle or eReader if you're trying a new reading format this year.

Call or visit on Thursdays from 4 to 6 pm for HPL-related app or digital resource questions. We are here for you.

- Molly Castor is the marketing and outreach manager at the Hinsdale Public Library.