My friend Walter introduced me to the term shtik lit which seems to be as popular with readers as the similarly nicknamed chick lit. Shtik lit refers to those books whose themes are based upon a particular premise or gimmick. Some examples: a book based on a year of cooking all the recipes in Julia Child’s cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Julie & Julia), or a year of reading all the entries in the OED (Reading the OED), or a year of living happily (The Happiness Project.)
Not that these books aren’t enjoyable, but they are shortcut reading — a book that can be handily summarized in one sentence or less. One need not actually read Julie & Julia to fully get it. Not that the plot of The Great Gatsby can’t be summarized in one sentence or less (“Wealthy & mysterious Gatsby buys a home on Long Island Sound and meets the neighbors,”) but that sentence doesn’t evoke the essence of the novel. In shtik lit, that one sentence is the essence.