Join BookBrowse today and get access to free books, our twice monthly digital magazine, and more.

Reviews of Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs

Small Fry

by Lisa Brennan-Jobs

Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs X
Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Sep 2018, 304 pages

    Paperback:
    Jun 2019, 416 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Meara Conner
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

A frank, smart and captivating memoir by the daughter of Apple founder Steve Jobs.

Born on a farm and named in a field by her parents--artist Chrisann Brennan and Steve Jobs--Lisa Brennan-Jobs's childhood unfolded in a rapidly changing Silicon Valley. When she was young, Lisa's father was a mythical figure who was rarely present in her life. As she grew older, her father took an interest in her, ushering her into a new world of mansions, vacations, and private schools. His attention was thrilling, but he could also be cold, critical and unpredictable. When her relationship with her mother grew strained in high school, Lisa decided to move in with her father, hoping he'd become the parent she'd always wanted him to be.

Small Fry is Lisa Brennan-Jobs's poignant story of a childhood spent between two imperfect but extraordinary homes. Scrappy, wise, and funny, young Lisa is an unforgettable guide through her parents' fascinating and disparate worlds. Part portrait of a complex family, part love letter to California in the seventies and eighties, Small Fry is an enthralling book by an insightful new literary voice.

Excerpt
Small Fry

The day we moved in, my mother parked and we carried in our things: kitchen supplies, a futon, a desk, a rocking chair, lamps, books. "This is why nomads don't get anything done," she said, hefting a box through the doorway, her hair disheveled, her hands flecked with white canvas primer. "They don't stay in one place long enough to build anything that lasts."

By the time I was seven, my mother and I had moved thirteen times. We rented spaces informally, staying in a friend's furnished bedroom here, a temporary sublet there. The last place had become unsuitable when someone had sold the refrigerator without warning. We moved again to an apartment just for us on the ground floor of a small building at the back of a house on Channing Avenue in Palo Alto—the first place my mother rented with her own name on the lease.

After we finished unloading, she stood with her hands on her hips, and together we surveyed the room: with everything we owned, it ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Small Fry is a touching portrait of the complicated relationship of parent to child and whether familial love can survive the emotional trauma created within it...continued

Full Review (661 words)

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by Meara Conner).

Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. An epic, sharp coming-of-age story…An exquisitely rendered story of family, love, and identity.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Brennan-Jobs's narrative is tinged with awe, yearning, and disappointment… Bringing the reader into the heart of the child who admired Jobs's genius, craved his love, and feared his unpredictability, Brennan-Jobs writes lucidly of happy times, as well as of her loneliness…This sincere and disquieting portrait reveals a complex father-daughter relationship.

Author Blurb Jamie Quatro
Here is a literary coming-of-age memoir of the highest order, the story of a child trying to find her place between two radically different parents, identities, and worlds. Compassionate, wise, and filled with finely-wrought detail, Small Fry is a wonder of a book, and Lisa Brennan-Jobs is a wonder of a writer.

Author Blurb Phillip Lopate
As clear-eyed, amusing, honest, unsentimental and sad as any memoir I've read in years…No other book or film has captured Steve Jobs as distinctly as this one has.

Author Blurb Susan Cheever
A gorgeous, compelling work of art and a dazzling coming-of-age story. This is a lovely, sweetly intimate portrait, a story told through the eyes of a daughter whose father struggled with his own origins?and who almost became the father she hoped he would be.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

California Reading

Big SurOne of the most captivating aspects of Lisa Brennan-Jones' Small Fry is the portrayal of California during the 1980s and 1990s. From the small, specific aspects of Northern California culture to the sweeping descriptions of the San Francisco hills, Brennan-Jones creates not just a backdrop, but an atmosphere of a time and place. Here are a few more books (both fiction and non-fiction) that perfectly encapsulate the California ambience.

Where I Was From by Joan Didion
Didion's iconic 2003 memoir follows not just her childhood in Sacramento and later life in Los Angeles, but details some of the little-known history of the state of California. From outlining the state's at-times troubled relationships to land and water to ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Read-Alikes

Read-Alikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Small Fry, try these:

  • Hollywood Park jacket

    Hollywood Park

    by Mikel Jollett

    Published 2022

    About this book

    Hollywood Park is a remarkable memoir of a tumultuous life. Mikel Jollett was born into one of the country's most infamous cults, and subjected to a childhood filled with poverty, addiction, and emotional abuse. Yet, ultimately, his is a story of fierce love and family loyalty told in a raw, poetic voice that signals the emergence of a uniquely ...

  • Educated jacket

    Educated

    by Tara Westover

    Published 2022

    About this book

    Winner of the 2018 BookBrowse Nonfiction Award

    An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University.

We have 5 read-alikes for Small Fry, but non-members are limited to two results. To see the complete list of this book's read-alikes, you need to be a member.
Search read-alikes
How we choose read-alikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Long After We Are Gone
    Long After We Are Gone
    by Terah Shelton Harris
    Terah Shelton Harris's marvelous family drama Long After We Are Gone begins with the death of the ...
  • Book Jacket: Exhibit
    Exhibit
    by R O. Kwon
    Exhibit, R.O. Kwon's sophomore novel (after The Incendiaries, 2018), introduces readers to Jin Han, ...
  • Book Jacket: Somehow
    Somehow
    by Anne Lamott
    Anne Lamott knows a thing or two about love. In fact, there is so much of it exuding from her essay ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Wings Upon Her Back
    by Samantha Mills
    Faith is a delicate thing. At its best, it can offer peace in times of crisis. At its worst, it can ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
The Pecan Children
by Quinn Connor
Two sisters deeply tied to their small Southern town fight to break free of the darkness swallowing the land whole.
Book Jacket
Long After We Are Gone
by Terah Shelton Harris
After their father's death, four siblings rally to save their family home in this gripping and hopeful tale.
Win This Book
Win Bright and Tender Dark

Bright and Tender Dark by Joanna Pearson

A beautifully written, wire-taut debut novel about a murder on a college campus and its aftermath twenty years later.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

A W in S C

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.