Ronan Farrow has a Pulitzer, is a Grammy nomination in his future? Farrow is eligible in the spoken word category for “Catch and Kill,” chronicling how he broke the Harvey Weinstein story. The book is a winner, but his comical narration, complete with Bond-villainesque impersonations of everyone from Eastern European seductresses to Ukrainian henchmen, is not. He would’ve been a long shot anyway: The category has historically rewarded the likes of Michelle Obama, Betty White, and Jimmy Carter, and this year’s contenders aren’t lacking for notable voices.
VIOLET BENT BACKWARDS OVER THE GRASS (Lana Del Rey)
The singer-songwriter’s first spoken word album, set to music by frequent collaborator Jack Antonoff (Taylor Swift, Lorde), accompanies an upcoming book of poetry. Her meditations encompass everything from global warming to vaping and have been described as “sometimes clichéd, often rambling and consistently solipsistic” — all of which seems very on-brand. It also could give Del Rey a shot at her first Grammy after six previous nominations.
A VERY PUNCHABLE FACE (Colin Jost)
As the title suggests, the “SNL” head writer and Mr. ScarJo cops to how off-putting his generic handsomeness can be in this frequently hilarious and occasionally moving memoir that recounts his rise to the top of the late-night heap. Jost has the kind of bonafides that Grammy voters love: Fellow “SNL” vets like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are past nominees and satirists like Carol Burnett and Carrie Fisher were winners.
YEAR OF THE MONKEY (Patti Smith)
The third memoir from the so-called punk poet laureate is a dreamy travelogue that recounts how she spent 2016: jetting from Lisbon to Rockaway Beach, bidding goodbye to longtime friends like Sam Shepard, hitchhiking, sifting through polaroids, and being generally horrified by the outcome of the presidential election. Smith has been nominated for four Grammys (including twice in the spoken word category), but is shockingly Grammy-less.
THE CHIFFON TRENCHES (Andre Leon Talley)
The former Vogue editor-at-large provides a passport to the glory days of onetime publishing Camelot, Conde Nast, read in the dishy cadence of a beloved dinner guest. Talley’s expense account-fuelled memories of Fashion Weeks past — with the occasional South of France jaunt with the Karl Lagerfelds of the world — are the main attraction, but its heft is in dissecting how racism shapes the world of haute couture.
TOO MUCH AND NEVER ENOUGH (Mary L. Trump)
Want a Grammy winner that’s certain to inspire a Twitter meltdown? Cue: Mary L. Trump’s tell-all about her uncle, the leader of the free world, and her family’s unique brand of psychosis. A trained psychologist, Trump reads her own medical assessment. Spoiler alert: the Donald is a preening sociopath. Her damning assessment is presented in cool, clear, clinical tones that makes it all the more devastating, and could garner votes for what it says as much as how she says it.