Better Than The Movie

...because the book normally is!

Better Than The Movie is a podcast for people who love reading diversely, books, book news, and issues related to literacy and popular culture. Our goal is to review and discuss book themes with passion and an open mind. We want to encourage our readers to look beyond the best sellers lists and  discover new voices and stories. 

We are The Readers, the people who the publishing world should be catering to, but oftentimes  don't . We are smart. We are funny. We are sometimes a little snarky. And we always, ALWAYS, think that the book is better than the movie



This week we’re reading an idiot & discussing “diversity”. 

Stories Discussed in News Section:

Claudia Rankine Leads This Year’s Class of MacArthur Genius Grant Recipients:

What I Pledge Allegiance To (Kiese Laymon essay): 

Who gets to write what: 

EPISODE FIFTY-FOUR: This show is on fire!

This week we’re discussing the brilliantly written and curated The Fire Next Time. But first…the news! And we also have a special guest in the Honeycomb Hideout—Brooklynn (Tahmeka’s daughter) drops in to give us some kid lit picks!

Articles discussed in news:

What Makes a Reader Stop Reading a Book: 

Simone Biles Autobiography Deal: 

Lit Spins Kickstarter: 

Five queer black female authors you need to be familiar with: 

No, the Internet has not killed the printed book, most people still prefer them:

St. Martin’s Press Acquires New Nick Cannon Novel:

Brooklynn’s picks:

Roller Girl - Victoria Jameson

Pack of Dorks - Beth Vrabel

The Missing Pieces of Me -  Jean Van Leeuwin

Who is Malala Yousafazi? - Dinah Brown

Brown Girl Dreaming - Jacqueline Woodson



We're coming to you live from Rocky Mountain High on this episode. WE visited a few of the local Denver bookstores and discuss our thoughts about them. This week we’re also tackling the complicated feelings that come along with wanting to support indie booksellers, but ultimately succumbing to the low low prices of The Man (aka Amazon) along with our usual assessment of lit news and other minutiae. 

Articles discussed in news section below:

Stop telling black people not to self publish:

Save Langston Hughes’ Harlem Home:

Publisher delays YA novel amid row over invented black 'street dialect':

What Pres. Obama is reading this summer:

EPISODE FIFTY-TWO: Happily Nappily

We are honored to have author Trisha R. Thomas on the show this week to talk about her latest novel Postcards From Venus which will be released on August 16, 2016. Tahmeka speaks with Trisha about her writing process, the Nappily Ever After book series and her thoughts and views on the state of the literary world in general. Show begins with the usual News You Can Use segment and we also have a brief chat about "hypebeasting" in the literary world.. Articles discussed in news section below: 

Oprah’s Book Club Pick

Slave Narrative

Jonathan Franzen and His Negro Friend

Read Books, Live Longer


EPISODE FIFTY: The Kang's Speech

Wow! This is Episode Fifty! I don't even think we realized it as we recorded. This week's show begins on a bit of a somber note as we reflect on the senseless violence witnessed within recent days. Episode's main topic is the memory Every Little Step by Robert Barisford Brown aka The Kang of R&B. 

News stories discussed during episode below:

The Great Second-Half 2016 Book Preview:

Marvel’s New Iron Man Is a Black Woman:

Chimamanda’s Had a Baby:

Audible Channels (wtf is it?):

Brave New World of White Man Doing What Octavia Butler Did Decades Ago:


We're back, you guys! Did you miss us? This week we're talking about alllllllll of the news stories we've missed while on hiatus. Ok not all of them, but a lot of em. All articles discussed below:

15 Books By Black Authors To Dive Into This Summer

Bobby Brown Every Little Step I Take

LitHub Launches Book Marks

Does Literary Criticism Have A Grade Inflation Problem?

Akosua Adoma Owusu Options Film Rights to Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche’s “On Monday Of Last Week”

Kickstarter link:

Trisha R. Thomas (FOH episode) Has A New Book Coming

Beyonce Is Not Shining A Light On African Literature- It’s The Other Way Around

EPISODE FORTY-SEVEN: Her Teeth as Confetti

You thought we wasn't when we was? Shooooot. Just because we are a literary podcast, don't think we aren't discussing Lemonade like everyone else, ha! We discuss the work on a granular level as well as delve into the idea that Black art is often seen as autobiographical, instead of works of imagination.

Articles discussed in news section:

Why publishers are betting big on debut novelists:

Oprah Winfrey to star in “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” film adaptation: 

A Reading List For Beyonce: 

What to read after watching Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’: 



This week's show is all about our trip to NY to see a couple of Broadway plays based on two literary works-- Hamilton by Ron Chernow and The Color Purple by Alice Walker. Tahmeka also walks us through the #Hamiltome. But first, the news:

Are Most Romance Novels Badly Written?:

Rachel Dolezal’s Got a Book Deal:

2016 Pulitzer Prize Winners Announced:


This week we're discussing books that we just couldn't finish. Articles discussed in news section below:

Young Lions Fiction Award Finalists:

VIDA count:

Movie Adaptation of An Untamed State:

James Patterson’s Money Grab:

10 Books Every Young Black Woman Should Read to Slay (LOL):

EPISODE FORTY-FOUR: Listener Recommendations Vol. 2 ft. @leonicka

Show's a bit different this week. Tahmeka's traveling for work, so I'm (Jeanette) manning it solo. I'm speaking with Léonicka Valcius about Canadian literature, working for Scholastic Book Fair and also the Festival of Literary Diversity that we talked about briefly in the last show. Léonicka also provides a reading list of excellent Canadian books/authors to check out. Show rounds out with a solo "What Are You Reading?" because I'm newly obsessed with Rachel Howzell Hall and needed to fangirl.

EPISODE FORTY ONE: The Seinfeld Episode Parte Tres

EPISODE FORTY: Do You Know What Today is?

It's our one year anniversary...well almost!  We're coming in a fewwwww days early, but it's all good. : ) This week we're discussing the sanitization of slavery children's books, Jeanette has a wee bit of a rant about some literary related things that have been annoying her and we end with talking about some of our favorite episodes of this podcast and our hopes for its future. Links to articles discussed below:


EPISODE THIRTY-NINE: Til the Well Runs Dry

New year, same us! We're back discussing Lauren Francis Sharma's novel, Til the Well Runs Dry, but first some lit news. Links discussed below...

Barnes and Noble applied for liquor license:

Minx Malone interview (not so much for the romance aspect of it, but the othering bit she speaks about in the 4th question/answer):

Damn, You're Not Reading Any Books by White Men This Year? That's So Freakin Brave and Cool from Jezebel: m/damn-youre-not-reading-any-books-by-white-men-this-yea-1751094468


I think the title says it all. :) We begin the show with Lit News business as usual and continue on to talk about our favorite reads of the year.

Articles discussed in Lit News: 

New Marlon James Novel is African Game Of Thrones:

15 Powerful Works of Fiction Pubbed by Black Authors in 2015:

World’s First MA in Black literature offered:

U.S. School stops teaching Huck Finn Because the N word:  

More Books, Fewer Guns BookRiot piece:



This week's show is all about saying yes. We're discussing Shonda Rhimes' The Year of Yes.

Links to articles discussed in this week's Lit News here:

Misty Copeland to Write a Health and Fitness Book:

Maya Angelou Documentary Kickstarter:

Flatiron to Pub Oprah’s Memoir, host her new imprint

Marlon James "Black authors pander to white women": 

White Men Are the Minority on This Year’s BIggest Year End Book Lists:    

Goodreads Best of 2015:



After an unplanned hiatus, we're back and talkin' smack! Ok...not really, I just couldn't resist the rhyme. The main theme of this week's show is novels featuring mother/daughter relationships. Before we dig in, however, we discuss a variety of literary related items as well as give some updates regarding the future of Better Than the Movie.

Articles Discussed:

American Writers Museum to Open in Chicago in 2017:

NaNoWriMo article:

Amazon Article:

Clarissa Article: 

List of Books From Episode: 

God Help The Child  - Toni Morrison

White Oleander - Janet Fitch

Breath, Eyes, Memory - Edwidge Danticat

Claire of the Sea Light - Edwidge Danticat

The Joy Luck Club - Amy Tan

Song of Solomon - Toni Morrison

The Darkest Child - Delores Phillips

The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd

The Almost Moon - Alice Sebold

Where the Heart Is - Billie Letts

Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood - Rebecca Wells

Carrie - Stephen King

Where’d You Go Bernadette - Maria Semple

72 Hour Hold - Bebe Moore Campbell

Revolutionary Road - Richard Yates

Girl In Translation - Jean Kwok

Third Girl From the Left - Martha Southgate

The Center of Everything - Laura Moriarty

Mama - Terry McMillan