When the Grammy nominations by the likes of Taylor Swift and Daft Punk were celebrated, in the quiet Spoken Word category, one publisher dominated: Hachette. Hachette took three out of five nominations, with one each going to Simon & Schuster and Macmillan.
The Hachette nominees include David Sedaris' "Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls," his latest collection of nonfiction essays. Sedaris has been nominated for three Grammys before, but has never won. "Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls" is a bestseller.
Another bestseller is "America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren't" from Stephen Colbert and the Colbert Report team, another Hachette nominee. It's the third Grammy nomination for Colbert -- like Sedaris, he hasn't yet won.
Hachette's third nominee has a shelf full of Grammys. Pete Seeger, now 94, was awarded a lifetime achievement award Grammy in 1993 -- then went on to win two Grammys for folk records (in 1996 and 2008) and one for a children's record in 2010. His Spoken Word nominee is "The Storm King"; producer Jeff Haynes wove Seeger's stories and poems together with music from a wide variety of genres and cultural traditions.
Seeger, of course, is the folk musician and political activist whose long career has earned him a Kennedy Center Honor, a National Medal of the Arts, a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a Living Legend award from the Library of Congress, and many, many other honors.
The other two nominees are from comedians with very different memoirs. Carol Burnett's "Carrie and Me" (Simon & Schuster) is a tender reminiscence of her daughter, who lived boldly in the public eye and died of cancer at age 38.
The other is Billy Crystal's "Still Foolin' Em" (Macmillan), a humorous look at the indignities of turning 65, partially recorded before a live audience. Crystal hasn't yet won a Grammy, but he hosted the award ceremony three times.
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