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Small Fry

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  3,109 ratings  ·  418 reviews
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 p ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by Grove Press
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Diane S ☔
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 Well, I gobbled this one up in a few short days. As soon as I started reading this, I was fascinated and totally immersed in Lisa's story. Steve Jobs, Apple, not many happy not heard that too names. I don't use Apple products myself, don't even, voluntarily mind you, own a cell phone, but my daughter is an avid user. I'm just blown away by all the interesting non fiction being published right now. This one was garnering such great reviews from critics and readers alike, I had to grab it.

Rebecca McNutt
In Small Fry, Lisa Brennan-Jobs laments on her nostalgic and at times quite bizarre childhood à la Mommie Dearest (although certainly not to the extent of defamation like the latter). The illegitimate daughter of technology mogul Steve Jobs, Lisa lived in idyllic California at a time where this was a place of dreamers and thinkers and the power of computers for the average consumer was being recognized. I wouldn't necessarily call this one of those "child abuse" memoirs, although there was a lot ...more
Elyse Walters
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Audiobook....narrated by Eileen Stevens

“I’m one of the most important people you will ever know”....

Who talks like that? your 3 year old daughter?
But ... it’s TRUE!!! Steve Jobs ‘was’ the most important person Lisa Brennan-Jobs knew growing up. He was her ‘daddy’.
Can we laugh now?
Of course we see the sadness.
Lisa grew up in the distant shadows of one of the most well known names on the planet - computer genius - Steve Jobs.


Must this be a serious review?
Sorry - read other revie
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Copy courtesy of NetGalley

So, this book....... it's one of those which elicit strong emotions in a reader, especially a parent. There are times when you wonder why these people were allowed to be parents, why no-one smacked some sense into Steve & whateverthemothersnamewas, how did this child evolve into a somewhat coherent individual?

Proof that:

- intellect does not ensure good parenting (or even a mediocre attempt at it)
- fame & money clearly does not make you happy
- whateverthemothers
Lisa Brennan-Jobs new memoir, Small Fry, is searing in a Mommy Dearest expose` way, with me exclaiming and throwing the book down on at least three occasions, with a, “He did what?!”.

And that’s saying something for a former high school counselor, who’d thought I had hardened to any shock at inconsistent parenting and emotional abuse. So let me tell you, Steve Jobs takes the Apple cake. But instead, pick up a copy of Lisa Brennan-Jobs’ book and let her tell you in her very rational, yet compellin
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: daughters, fathers
This is a very well written and a very interesting memoir about the complex, distant father that Steve Jobs was to Lisa Brennan. The book joins its great predecessors such as the Educated: a memoir by Tara Westover or We are all shipwrecks: a memoir by Kelly Grey Carlisle that are non-fiction books that read like fiction. All the parts that make a great and compelling read are in place: an unusual and intriguing story, very high quality of writing and editing, maturity of the author able to tran ...more
Mary Deacon
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is memoir by Steve Job's daughter. She talks about growing up in California and what it was like growing up the daughter of the Apple founder. I would definitely recommend this book.
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The headline of the NYT review referred to Steve Jobs as a "terrible dad" but the book is so much more than a smear of Jobs as a parent or human. He was, most certainly a difficult, deeply flawed human but in her beautiful memoir, Lisa Brennan-Jobs is graceful, not bitter. She reveals the wounds inflicted by both parents and her longing to belong in her two families, in school, and in a world she was too young to understand. Any child of divorced parents will recognize her complex and confusing ...more
I also grew up in Palo Alto at the same time so many of the places and references were violently real to me. Dragers? Check. Zohar? Check. The Good Earth? Check. That Whole Foods downtown? I can picture that place as if it were yesterday. It was kind of ratty in the old days. I'm sure it's supremely well-lit now.

This book was a bit heart-breaking. I have a lot of sympathy for the author as she describes how she yearns to be more part of her father's new family, yet never will be.
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't love it. I didn't hate it. This was pretty bland and boring. I wouldn't recommend this with so many other great memoirs out there
Michael Scott
Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs is an autobiography presented as a coming-of-age story written for the target-audience of Steve Jobs fans and people interested in the myth surrounding the Apple creator who died not long ago. Overall, a good story, but with flaws, not enough about Steve Jobs to matter generally, and not enough alignment of values with the lead character to matter for me.

The writing is nice and flowing (except for the big gap in the maturing years discussed later in this review),
Ginger Bensman
Small Fry is the story of a child longing to belong, a child constantly vigilant, looking to discern from the adults in her life what she needs to be and do, to be seen and valued and loved. And getting the signals right is no small task when both her parents are (emotionally) children, still desperately searching to find love and security and the missing pieces of themselves. Her father’s outsized success, casual cruelty, and warped understanding about what it is to be a parent, lead to sharply ...more
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
This book really makes you understand that people are complicated. Just because they are famous, or intelligent, etc., doesn't mean that success is going to translate into all aspects of their lives.
Cherise Wolas
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an intriguing coming-of-age/family story, but I disagree with the reviewers who believe that the fact that the father in question was Steve Jobs is irrelevant. It's what makes this book especially interesting. For all his brilliance and on-and-off charisma, he was cold and sanctimonious, withholding, profoundly awkward and, at times, wildly inappropriate. And saw exactly how his life would unfold, and it unfolded that way. Does brilliance excuse coldness, meanness, cheapness? Written fro ...more
Riva Sciuto
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bios-memoirs
"For a long time I hoped that if I played one role, my father would take the corresponding role. I would be the beloved daughter; he would be the indulgent father. I decided that if I acted like other daughters did, he would join in the lark. We’d pretend together, and in pretending we’d make it real. If I had observed him as he was, or admitted to myself what I saw, I would have known that he would not do this, and that a game of pretend would disgust him."


I LOVED this memoir. I found mysel
Julie Garner
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, biographies
I received an advanced reading copy of this book.
Interesting memoir from the daughter Steve Jobs. It is a moving story if a young girl absolutely desperate for love from her family and at times finding it extremely hard to get that from either parent.
Right from the word go, her father denies her. From a young and naive age it seems to me that Lisa became a parent to her mother and tried so hard not to be a stranger to her father. So many times when I was reading this book I found myself getting
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite the buzz around this book because her father was famous, Lisa’s story is essentially about a sensitive girl who feels isolated, as if she never fits in anywhere—like the ugly duckling in the fairy tale. Of course, she tells us the story everyone’s heard: Lisa’s parents were in their early 20’s when her mom got pregnant. Her father continued to deny paternity until the state of California demanded a paternity test, as it did for clients receiving welfare benefits. He then grudgingly paid ...more
Julie Miller
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received an advanced reading copy of this book. Memoirs by women are my favorite genre, and this one is a new favorite. I didn't expect it to be the page-turner it was; Brennan-Jobs is a fantastic writer and her coming-of-age story about her relationship with her unpredictable father is compelling. The setting- California in the 80's- was brought alive for me as well.
DNF @ 25%
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lisa Brennan-Jobs is the oldest child of Steve Jobs. She is also the child he, for many years, refused to recognize as his daughter. As she grew older, Steve became more attentive towards her and invited her to live with him.

In this honest and intimate memoir, Lisa details her early life shuttling between two unstable parents. Lisa’s birth mother struggled to support herself and became increasingly resentful of their situation. Steve’s erratic and eccentric behavior and mean spiritedness caused
Hibah Kamal-Grayson
Sep 29, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Fairly well-written and interesting, but I'm rounding down based on the wave of relief I felt upon parting ways with the narrator.

It's hard to chronicle meanness without letting it infect you, and I kept detecting a faint trace of Steve Jobs's selfish cunning in the narrator herself: in her prose, her inner life, and even her actions. The narrative arc -- wobbly throughout the book -- sort of collapses at the end. I felt as though the author tried to quickly and clumsily stitch togeth
Linda Lipko
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is truly is such a great book that writing a review is difficult.

Told from the perspective of Lisa Brennan-Jobs, this is the story of her mercurial relationship with her famous father, Steve Jobs. While her father, the creator of the Mac Apple computer, and creative consultant of Pixar movie studios, became a mega millionaire, Lisa and her mother often lived without food and shelter. Roaming from one place to another, their existence was fraught with despair and longing.

Originally, when he
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lisa Brennan-Jobs, daughter of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and artist Chrisann Brennan, was born when her (unmarried) parents were just 23 years old. Jobs publicly denied his paternity until a DNA test proved otherwise. When Lisa was two, her mother sued Jobs for child support and, after months of resisting, he hurriedly agreed to pay $500 a month. Four days later, Apple stock went public and Jobs was worth $200 million. Steve Jobs may have been many things, but paternal wasn't one of them. ...more
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Moving Autobiography. Lisa Brennan Jobs was born to Steve Jobs and Chrissann Brennan, high school sweethearts who resumed their relationship after Steve returned from Reed College. Chrissann got pregnant and Steve was furious. Debating whether to get an abortion or give Lisa up for adoption, her Buddhist advisor suggested keeping her. The mother always had a difficult time and often expressed it to her daughter and others. She tried art and some other entrepreneurial money making interests but m ...more
Carly DaSilva
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I like memoirs, especially women’s memoirs, and I’m glad I managed to snag this ARC at BEA, the last of those I received when I raided the Grove Atlantic booth. I’m always a little turned off when writing (particularly in memoir, particularly in women’s memoirs) is praised as “unsentimental” right off the bat—ouch, sentiment is valid and no less moving than a lack thereof, why put apathy on a pedestal, traditionally viewed as a better (more masculine) writer’s ideal—but that of course has nothin ...more
Karen Ng
4.5 stars Some people define success with money, some with character, but when brain abnormality is involved. It gets more complex. A psychopath did not choose to be a psychopath, his genes defined him. So, jobs, a jerk, a known fact... further confirmed by this book that I actually really enjoyed and I feel some kind of triumph that Ms Jobs came out unscathed. Not without pain, but water under the bridge. There is still no cure for Borderline personality disorder. They can't be cured with thera ...more
Donna Hines
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I first heard about this book from The Today Show as I watched this interview being broadcast live:
I had the book on my radar in fact I wrote it down the day or so prior to place on hold at my library and ironically when I arrived it was on the shelf so I checked it out and read it that same day.
I was excited to learn more about Lisa not just because of her famous father but because I'm a scapegoat and when I first came out about my own situation I was ost
Rachel Smalter Hall
People are going to flock to this memoir for its shocking revelations about Steve Jobs--who was the author's father--and they aren't going to be disappointed. The details are pretty damning: he denied paternity when she was born, lied that he didn't name Apple's Lisa computer after her, and hurled senselessly cruel insults at his child. But in spite of all this, his daughter loved him, and that's what makes her story so compelling. Is there anything more human than loving someone and wanting the ...more
Fawaz Abdul rahman
I like to read anything related to Steve Jobs or Apple in general, that is the main reason I picked this book once it was released.
No doubt Lisa was a victim as so many cases in the US and other western countries, and I enjoyed the book because I always like to know more about other cultures as well about Steve and other famous people.
that been said, I am not really sure why Anyone should read this book, most things mentioned in this book may be to make you feel sorry for Lisa's family and stuff
Jaclyn Crupi
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Steve Jobs comes across as a cruel man who recognised what those around him wanted and needed and then enjoyed witholding it. Pathological. This is definitely memoir as therapy, which usually doesn’t work for the reader, and yet here it’s powerful and compelling.
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“I see now that we were at cross-purposes. For him, I was a blot on a spectacular ascent, as our story did not fit with the narrative of greatness and virtue he might have wanted for himself. My existence ruined his streak. For me, it was the opposite: the closer I was to him, the less I would feel ashamed; he was part of the world, and he would accelerate me into the light.” 4 likes
“I wished that I wanted less, needed less, was one of those succulents that have a tangle of wiry, dry roots and a minty congregation of leaves and can survive on only the smallest bit of moisture and air.” 1 likes
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