PEOPLE & PLACES

The Baltimore Sun

Underwood, Chesney, Jackson collect multiple CMA nominations

Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney and Alan Jackson were each nominated for two or more Country Music Association Awards yesterday, including album of the year.

Underwood's Carnival Ride, Chesney's Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates, and Jackson's Good Time were nominated for album of the year along with George Strait's Troubadour and Brooks & Dunn's Cowboy Town.

Other CMA nominees included Taylor Swift, Alison Krauss, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride and Underwood for female vocalist of the year; and Chesney, Jackson, Strait, Keith Urban and Brad Paisley for top male vocalist.

Rascal Flatts was nominated for vocal group of the year along with the Eagles, Emerson Drive, Lady Antebellum, and Little Big Town.

The CMA awards are set for Nov. 12, and will air on ABC.

Wait and see

Oprah Winfrey will announce her next book club pick on Sept. 19, her first choice since last winter's selection of Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth.

An e-newsletter sent yesterday to book club members says of the new release: "Once you start it, you won't want to put it down! Until then, it's a great time to reflect on the lessons you've learned from A New Earth - and how you'll continue to apply them to your everyday life."

Tolle's book, a spiritual self-help guide, has sold millions of copies this year and is believed to be the talk show host's most popular pick yet.

Speaking of books

Barney Rosset, the publisher and First Amendment defender whose battles on behalf of Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer and other explicit works helped overturn U.S. censorship laws, has won an honorary National Book Award for "Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community."

Maxine Hong Kingston, the Chinese-American author best known for The Woman Warrior, a fictionalized memoir that became a model for other immigrant writers and is taught on campuses nationwide, was awarded a medal for "Distinguished Contribution to American Letters."

The prizes were announced yesterday by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization that presents the National Book Awards.

Rosset, 86, and Kingston, 67, will collect their prizes Nov. 19 at the 59th annual National Book Awards ceremony. Nominees for competitive categories will be announced Oct. 15 in Chicago by novelist Scott Turow.

Rosset is a Chicago native who in the 1950s and '60s endured arrest and financial hardship to win landmark court decisions and publish the full editions of Miller's Tropic of Cancer and another erotic text, D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover. A leading advocate of avant-garde and political writings, he also released work by Malcolm X, Che Guevara and Jean-Paul Sartre among others.

Kingston, the daughter of Chinese immigrants, was born in Stockton, Calif., and has written often about her early years and her parents' lives.

A Muppets holiday

Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and the rest of the Muppets will help NBC celebrate the holidays this year.

The network has announced its holiday-specials lineup for this year, and it's a little bigger than usual. The Muppet special, titled Letters to Santa - A Muppet Christmas, is one of several new shows NBC will use to help fill out its end-of-the-year schedule.

BIRTHDAYS

Movie director Brian De Palma, 68.

Actress Amy Madigan, 58.

Actress Roxann Dawson, 50.

Actress Virginia Madsen, 47.

Actress Kristy McNichol, 46.

Musician-composer Moby, 43.

Singer Harry Connick Jr., 41.

Rapper Ludacris, 31.

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