Your soul holds a massive record collection: melodies, rhythms, and bass lines. Memories that ask you to dance and memories that haunt you in a minor key. Lies that become soundtracks to your days while truths play too softly to be heard.
Spoken word poet Amena Brown’s broken records played messages about how she wasn’t worthy to be loved. How to Fix a Broken Record chronicles her journey of healing as she’s allowed the music of God’s love to replace the scratchy taunts of her past. From bad dates to marriage lessons at Waffle House, from learning to love her hair to learning to love an unexpected season of life, from discovering the power of saying no and the freedom to say yes, Amena offers keep-it-real stories your soul can relate to.
The hurtful words of others and the failures of your past often determine what record you play the most in your mind. Those painful repetitions can become loud at the most inopportune time, keeping you from speaking up, pursuing your dreams, and growing closer to God.
Recognize the negative messages that play on repeat every day in your mind. Learn how to replace them with the truth that you are a beloved child of God. And discover how to laugh along the way as you find new joy in the beautiful music of your life.
|Product dimensions:||5.25(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.50(d)|
About the Author
Amena Brown is an author, spoken word poet, speaker, and event host. The author of five spoken word albums and two non-fiction books, Amena performs and speaks at events from coffeehouses to arenas with a mix of poetry, humor, and storytelling. She and her husband, DJ Opdiggy, reside in Atlanta, GA.
Table of Contents
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1. Searching for the Groove
2. Be Kind Rewind
3. Empire State of Mind
4. Like a Virgin
5. Take Me to Church
6. Go Ahead and Get Happy
7. That’s the Way Love Goes
8. Dear God
9. Warrior Women
10. Adventures in Staying
11. Press Record and Play
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Amena truly captured her authentic voice in her latest book How to Fix a Broken Record. Through much of this book, I literally felt like I was sitting across the table from her while sipping a latte. The stories she shares about insecurity, disappointment, dating, and God are honest and relate-able to many. While reading this book there were times when I laughed out loud, silently said "Me too" or simply thought deeply as her words resonated with my unspoken sentiments. Amena's candid stories and poetic words drew me in and painted a beautiful picture of a woman who learns to embrace her journey. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever found themselves with a broken record or two of their own. (less)
Reading How to Fix a Broken Record is a great deal like sitting down with one of your most treasured friends; the friend who speaks plain truths into your life and shares vulnerably from her own. Amena Brown does exactly that in her fabulous new book. So many books I've read regarding Christian faith are too often simplistic. While they impart encouraging words or uplifting scriptures, they often do so in the absence of real life stories. Heartache and difficulties are glazed over so that only hope and joy remain. The beauty of this book is that Amena shares her struggles in authentic and meaningful ways. She refuses to sugar coat disappointment, and her book is honest and refreshing because of it. For those experiencing struggles, she drops bread crumbs of faith and wisdom that lead you back to a God who loves you immensely even when your heart is broken and the story you are living is not the one you wanted. Further, she reminds you that your broken records do not have to remain as repeating refrains that drag you down. God's grace and truth can rewrite those refrains into ones that inspire and sustain you. Throughout the book I laughed, I cried, and I nodded my head in solidarity. It will be one that I reread and recommend without hesitation. *I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed here are solely my own.
After graduating from college, I moved to the biggest city in Maine for my first “real job,” bringing with me a wardrobe fashioned around college life south of the Mason-Dixon. Clearly, my flimsy sandals would not fit my new life as a ministry professional. However, it soon became apparent that my feet were not going to fit into any of the smooth and snappy dress shoes I admired at the Maine Mall. Navigating life with big feet has been part of my journey of self-acceptance, and a huge aspect of my mental soundtrack that I’m still rewriting. In How to Fix a Broken Record: Thoughts on Vinyl Records, Awkward Relationships, and Learning to Be Myself, Amena Brown shares her own trail of super-sized footsteps from sneakers and flats to styling elegance in her Beyoncé stilettos. With footwear as a metaphor for self-acceptance, the spoken-word poet and inspirational author also remembers the freedom of learning to love her own natural hair after years of fighting it. Looking back over her shoulder with humility and gratitude, Amena honors the resiliency and courage of the women who have contributed to her story’s formation: “My great-grandmother picked cotton and worked in a tobacco factory so my grandmother could work at a hospitalCorrecting the Soundtrack in Your Head so my mom could become a nurse so I could become a poet.” A product of the I Kissed Dating Goodbye generation, Amena was astonished to find herself still single at age 30. Now, happily married, she writes with transparency about the disappointment of infertility and her puzzlement with the ways of God, who moves slowly and in ways that are, at times, inscrutable. Her collection of stories documents her progress in working on the broken messages that have colored her thinking (and which are prevalent in Christian circles): “I am learning the painful truth that even when you pray and ask God, even when you quote back to God the applicable Scriptures, even when you walk around the object you are praying for six times and play your trumpet on the seventh, God doesn’t always answer the way you want him to.” (158) Remind Your Soul that God is Bigger than You Solid roots in the Body of Christ and in one’s identity as a daughter of God are indispensable in embracing the hard realities that come with a complicated family tree. Amena began laying down healthy grooves in her record by honoring her roots following a DNA test, some hard disclosures, and a commitment to the challenge of painful wondering. Like a vinyl record, the grooves in the human heart catch and preserve all manner of voices. We spend our lives layering message upon message, and in the process we come to define ourselves by what’s been caught in the grooves. It is startling, then, when words and feelings long forgotten (we thought) rise to the surface as a reminder that the healing process must continue. The God who makes all things new can also make broken things whole. Be Humble and Kind and Say “No” As an artist and an entrepreneur, Amena Brown lives in the tension between staying true to her calling and building a business. Taking responsibility for her own choices, she has learned to say “no, even if it means less money, less popularity, fewer likes.” She has concluded that there is much wisdom in realizing she “must constantly lay down the weight of opinion, the chokehold of pride, the race of comparison. It is saying no to my own selfishness ... continue reading at Living Our Days.
Amena shares truths with exceptional humor. Funny and profound. Full of faith. I am thankful for Amena’s prophetic voice. Her debut is beautiful, like her voice. A voice I hope to hear much more of in the future.
To tell the truth, I decided to read this book because the title caught my attention. I loved the idea of having an inspiration book that could also be fun! I had not heard of Amena Brown before, but this is not her first book. How to Fix a Broken Record was such an amazing read! Amena is so honest in sharing her life with us and then connecting the dots and allowing these things to be life lessons, not just for her, but for us too! If you love music and could use a little inspiration, I would highly recommend this book.
This story is the story of all of us. In this book Amena tells us her story. Her God story. Her self love story. Her marriage story. Her family story. Her finding herself story. And through these stories she weaves the imagery of a God in pursuit of her, the whole her, not just the pieces. A God whose words can eradicate the lies we tell ourselves. A God whose love transcends the love that we think we need, that we think is all we get. Amena affirms the truth of our age, that the lies we tell ourselves everyday, on repeat, like a record skipping, are just that, they are lies. And this God that pursued her, has so much more melody to offer than we can begin to orchestrate for ourselves. In so many ways Amena and I have lived and live in two very different worlds, two very different stories. But her narrative is so engaging, her truths so universal, that her story beats in time with mine, and the truths that leap off her pages also leap off mine. The God she and I both love so deeply is beyond borders.
How to Fix a Broken Record teleported me back to the 80’s and 90’s. I suddenly missed my L.A. Gears and moonwalking on my grandma’s living room floor. When Amena took us into her story of finding a hair stylist and not using chemicals at home, it reminded me of how my grandmother longed for me to have a perm. Perms in Latina culture are not straighteners. On the contrary, when we get a perm, it makes our hair curly. The more powerful the solution, the more curly our hair becomes. I remember my grandma once tried to give me a perm at home and it ended up burning my scalp and the nape of my neck. I looked like a brown poodle who had just got into a street fight. She was so proud but I knew she was scared to hurt me again. We visited Rosita’s Salon every other time after that for the next three years. Then, I graciously grew out of it (and so did grandma). Amena touches on growing up with strong female role models, saving herself for marriage, dismantling the lies of “not good enough,” and choosing a great hair stylist amidst it all. There is no rock bottom, no personal disaster, no amount of utter failure where Jesus doesn’t walk with us (Brown). Amena interweaves the theme of hip hop songs and broken records throughout her book. As often as we fixate on what is wrong in our lives, it begins to sound much like a broken record. Amena’s attention to this universal idea of broken records leads us to find hope within these pages. Sometimes God wants us to sit in relationship with Him more than he wants us to try to figure Him out. How to Fix a Broken Record takes us on a journey through Amena’s past to show us how those experiences helped shape who she is through the love of Jesus Christ. God doesn’t write fairy tales, but he is always writing a good story (Brown). You’ll want to pick up this book. It’s a perfect gift for friends and loved ones as they navigate their faith journey. I’m so glad I had the privilege of reading an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. It’s also been a real privilege to listen to her podcast and hearing the how these stories manifested. The podcasts episodes also continue the conversation from the book. It’s a real treasure. Check it out.
“God’s story is about grace, adventure, peace, risk, courage, and trust, and that story is the best page-turner of them all.” If my memory is correct (which you never know these days), I first heard Amena Brown speak a few years back at IF:Gathering in Austin. Among many things, she’s a spoken word artist and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing from her at the conference. Fast forward a few years and I’m so excited that she’s released another book and, that I get to share it with y’all! Sharing bits of her life, Brown reminds readers of important truths we can hold on to as believers. She’s honest, vulnerable and reading it felt like we were having coffee (tea for me) and chatting about all the things. There were several quotes that grabbed me on a variety of topics, but I’ll share this one. “God understands the power of no. He is not a constant Yes God. Sometimes when God says no, it will hurt. It will sting. I will beg God to explain. Sometimes He never gives an explanation. In other moments, time will be the greatest explainer of all. Sometimes we ask God for things and He says no because He knows we can’t handle what we’re asking for. Because He knows what we’re asking for isn’t His best for us. Because it isn’t time. Because it isn’t good. Because God always knows better than we do.” Truth! If you enjoy non fiction, make sure you add this to your pile! What’s a recent memoir you really enjoyed? (Thank you to Zondervan for a copy of the book. All views expressed are my own.) Originally posted at https://musingsofjamie.wordpress.com/2017/11/07/how-to-fix-a-broken-record-by-amena-brown-book-review/