An entire subgenre of books have emerged from this idea. Last year, The Writing Spider blog spotlighted this trend, citing A.J. Jacobs's The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically and Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love as examples. The writer jokingly suggests a number of ideas that she can do in order to become famous by following in the questionable footsteps of people like Julie Powell.
I've read a number of these types of books, and I must admit that I'm torn about the entire idea. On one hand, I appreciate that these people have dedicated a year of their lives to doing something on a regular basis. On the other hand, these types of books have become so ubiquitous that I can't help but be cynical about the authors' motivations. Rather than trying to find themselves or learning more about the world around them, it can be easy to attribute their dedication to their desire for fame or money (or both).
What is your take on these types of books? Have you read any that you have found enjoyable?