The concept "great books" stems from the late 19th century early 20th century. The idea is simple. Life is short, and there is no time to read all the books. Better to read the good ones, nay the greatest ones, while we can.
Not so simple is the criteria for what constitutes a great book. No doubt standards of greatness vary, depending on time period and culture. We have some reliable clues, however. Consider if you will the books people continue to read, continue to study, and continue to discuss. Works of lasting endurance. Works pregnant with ambiguities. Works that have influenced your culture. Call it our living tradition which is always evolving.
This blog offers a growing library of classic books (available in the public domain). It will also blog about issues such as literary history, intellectual history, canon formation and reformation, lists of books and resources for those interested in feeding their mind with books that will sustain you.
The site will grow. If a book isn't here yet, be patient.