Two audio books of memoirs by comediennes, read by the authors themselves, received Grammy nominations this week. Tina Fey's "Bossypants" and Betty White's "If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't)" are both in the running in the Spoken Word category.
The three other nominees aren't books at all, but a variety of audio performances. One is "Fab Fan Memories: The Beatles Bond," a collection of fan reminiscences about the Beatles; another is a recording of "Hamlet" performed by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival; and "The Mark of Zorro," an audio drama featuring Val Kilmer.
In recent years, however, audio books have taken the award. Former President Clinton's "My Life" won the 2005 Spoken Word Grammy, followed the next year by future president Barack Obama's "Dreams from My Father." Obama's "The Audacity of Hope," read by Jacob Bronstein, won the award in 2008. Political books have done well: Jimmy Carter's "Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis" was one of two winners of the 2007 award and Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" won in 2009.
Celebrity and comedy have also had some recent success. Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents Earth (The Audiobook)" won in 2011, and the 2010 winner was Michael J. Fox's "Always Looking Up." Maybe that means that the chances of winning are equally good for White and Fey.
-- Carolyn Kellogg
Photo: Tina Fey at a book signing of "Bossypants" in April in New York. Credit: Jim Spellman / Getty Images