Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “But I Really Wanted to Be an Anthropologist” as Want to Read:
But I Really Wanted to Be an Anthropologist
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

But I Really Wanted to Be an Anthropologist

(J'aurais adoré être ethnologue #1)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  967 ratings  ·  103 reviews
But I Really Wanted to Be an Anthropologist is an introduction to the world of Margaux, a charming 30-something living in Paris, navigating the world as an illustrator. This diary documents her day-to-day existence with her boyfriend and young daughter, drinking and smoking, and the difficulties of a persistent and precocious child. Anyone who’s ever worn inappropriate shoes to the supe ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published May 15th 2012 by Harry N. Abrams (first published 2009)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about But I Really Wanted to Be an Anthropologist, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about But I Really Wanted to Be an Anthropologist

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  967 ratings  ·  103 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of But I Really Wanted to Be an Anthropologist
Oct 10, 2015 rated it it was ok
But I really wanted to off myself after reading just a few of these. Sheesh, cutesy regressive feminine stereotypes much? This had all the subtlety and nuance of a Family Circle cartoon strip. Don't care how pretty the drawings are when it is so regressive that it makes mainstream palatable slosh like Modern Family look downright edgy and controversial.
Seriously, you know those scribble drugstore greeting cards with the offensively stereotypical "grumpy old woman" character? This book is t
Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}
Shallow, self-indulgent showing off. Look at my awesome Carrie Bradshaw life, designer shoes, cute daughter and long suffering husband. Envy me, bitches!

Motin really needs to tone it down. Maybe it's because she's French. Nothing of this memoir appears to have been lost in translation, however, the handwriting font is illegible at times but Motin's illustrations are wonderful.

But I Really Wanted to Be an Anthropologist as a title is meaningless. Apparently Motin wanted to be one for five seconds except she's rich and entitled andwonderful.
Lorra Fae
I wanted to like this - the drawings are beautiful, but the stories were just...boring, or shallow. I only gave it two stars because of the art.
Frothy, mostly single-panel comics about being beautiful but not knowing it, being a mom but also cool, and being French, but obsessed with shoes.

Oh, right - that actually makes sense.

Seriously, though - as another reviewer commented, this content could easily be run in one of those fashion magazines that I rip pages out of to decorate my journal with. (Ok, she didn't say all of the last part, just the magazine part.)

Motin's illustrations have a languid quality to them -
Emilia P
Aug 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: comic-books
Skeptical -- as I always am with stuff that looks like it should be single-panel in Glamour. Which is a fine genre too, I just can't take a whole book of it usually. Motin's excellent grasp of her character's bod, attitude, and a pretty good sense of how truly ridiculous most of her ladyish predicaments are turned out to be nearly laugh out loud funny though. Perhaps it's the frenchiness?
I could have done with sooooo much less about shaving though. Give me a break, lady, it is your choice.
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
i picked this up yesterday at the toronto comic arts festival because the cover caught my eye. i immediately fell in love with the beautiful drawings (they remind me a bit of hilary knight) and the hilarity and even the shoes that margaux is wearing in the comics. now i am obsessed. OBSESSED.

but oh the agony! this is the only one of motin's books that has been translated into english. i can get a google translate of her blog, but none of the handwritten words in her illustrations tra
Jun 11, 2014 rated it did not like it
The artwork is pretty but very fashion-magazine style. Lots of white space, lots of panels of "you know how we girls are about our shoes." Not my thing.
Aug 01, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: comics, half-read
self-indulgent. felt like she just wanted to draw herself in cute outfits and show off her loving husband and adorable daughter--self-deprecation did not go deep enough to produce humor.
Fredrik Strömberg
This is an autobiographical book by a French comics artist and I really wanted to like it, but it was just too shallow. The book contains short comics and one-page cartoons following the life of a woman with husband and a young daughter. Some of the comics about her relationship with the daughter are fine, but most of the ones dealing with her own life or her relationship with her husband feel like they could have been taken from a men’s magazine in the 1950s. It’s all about her obsession with h ...more
Sasha Boersma
This was more fun of a read than I expected. I've seen it on the shelves of many bookstores and on many recommended lists, but I was afraid of it being flighty. And, NOT. Sure, it's girly, but in a fun "this is life!" way. Great ready for 30-something women dealing with the adjustment to parenthood, while reminiscing their 20s. Great illustration style.
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
Nice art, but memoir/journal comics are hard for me if I'm disinterested in the main character. Lots of cliches about what it means to be a lady. Like Cathy cartoons if Cathy were a hot French woman. Le "Ack!"
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
stylish w/ kind of annoying cliched jokes about being a woman. wow, you morph into the hulk when you get your period? you have a SERIOUS shoe addiction? you freak out about not feeling young anymore? being a girl is so crazy!!! bravo!
Her epiphanies about marriage and motherhood are sometimes incredibly cliche ("Sex and the City" called, and it wants all of its tropes back), but the illustrations are just so lovely that it doesn't matter.
Picked this up for the lovely drawings, but the sentiments she expressed just weren't for me.
Aimee Marx
2 stars because I really like her drawing style... that's it.
My boyfriend only liked this book because she drew herself dancing in her panties.
I couldn't get past the first 15 pages.
I had to look up this book and sure enough it was published a decade ago in France, so it much have been from older comics on the author's blog.

It's basically was if Carrie Bradshaw was French cartoonist who got married and have a kid. It's a lot of clotheshorse and feminine cliches about loving shoes, fashion, wanting to be sexy, etc. It's fun in small doses, but reading a full book of them is monotonous. She sort of acknowledges this in her penultimate cartoon where she tells her friend about
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Margaux is so cute! The greatest issue with this book is the layout: very hard to follow with some strips, seems out of order or poorly designed, not to mention her chickenscratch is practically illegible. I loved this book, but its design detracted greatly from the reading experience for me and is truly what kept me from giving it five stars.
Huxley Anne
Jan 29, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a fun little read before bed, light and whimsical in contrast to all the heavy novels I have been reading lately. Her ability to swear profusely over top of adorably fashionable doodles is pretty amazing.
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
irreverent; a fun read; good style!
May 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics-etc
Loved the art, so so on the voice.
I like her drawings but couldn’t relate to any stories and didn’t find them endearing or funny. Really like what she’s doing right now on her IG though.
Wilde Sky
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
An illustrated account of someone's life.

I could get into this book, some of the text was illegible and the people didn't seem real (in any sense).

Reading time roughly an hour.
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Lovely illustrations, but this is quite tiresome at times since I am not into tales of parenting or fashion. Very repetitive. We get it- you're not like other moms, ur a cool mom!!
Jul 01, 2016 rated it liked it
I picked this up for the title and the appealing art style. I ended up being a bit disappointed as it does not actually deal with being an anthropologist at all, it's actually collected comics/blogs from a talented french illustrator. It's cute, I suppose. Very light. Not much substance. Ms. Motin is definitely a fantastic artist and her art is very well done. I could look at it all day! But maybe with someone else writing? I also have a hard time believing she really looks like she draws hersel ...more
Maggie Gordon
May 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Originally read on: May 3, 2014

While I was in Montreal over the holidays, I stopped in at Renaud-Bray for my yearly fix of Francophone musique et livres. I ended up grabbing a book by Motin which was the sequel to this one, so I decided it was time for a reread!

But I Really Wanted to Be an Anthropologist is a silly, mostly one-off set of comics from a French blogger (from France, not Quebec). The art is absolutely fantastic. Unsurprising as Motin is a professional illustrator for ma
I just finished this funny, sassy, honest comic/coffee table book. I heard about it in my comics class in library school last year and I finally got my hands on it! It's all about the artist and her funny observations of life, women, men, children, mothers, fathers and shopping! Many reviewers have said it's fluffy, silly, self indulgent. But I just think it's fun!

I read it in about an hour or two total, but it's the kind of book I want to buy just have to show people. If you like Hark a Vagran
Dec 30, 2015 marked it as dnf-d
Shelves: 2015
I'm not really sure what was the end goal for this memoir-ish graphic novel.

Due to the script writing font, I felt that it was too hard to read in many parts. So much so that I had to put it down. The dialogue seemed childish and very middle grade for a woman who is able to work from home and has a child.

I was drawn in by the illustration style but it almost felt like she slapped together a story to appease her drawings. While I believe she is a brilliant illustrator, the writing is
Jun 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book out of curiosity and because I really liked the illustrations. Funny and engaging mini stories made me laugh and left a really good impression of the overall book experience. It could be a great gift... I read it in one go, just in an hour or so. Thinking in terms with the price (I paid full cover price), it does not seem like the best deal; yet in the end I thought it was a good value for money purchase. Very chic and very honest.
Jessie Myrriah
Jan 31, 2013 rated it liked it
Read like a spread from glamour, which can either be a good or bad thing depending on your interests. For Me it was a morbid curiosity that drew me to this book. Not a fan of the art style, too...loopy? Anyway never really have liked that style, but it was French and as another reviewer mentioned, she gets a pass on account of her frenchiness. Besides it really is amusing to get inside the head of the shoe obsessed and see what really goes on there...which is, not too terribly much.
May 17, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
UGH, this book was the most stereotypical expression of gender roles I've ever seen. A LOT of shopping, shoes, wine, and complaining about motherhood to girlfriends for the woman, a lot of video games, sports, and not helping out around the house for the man. The little scenarios presented in the book really weren't very funny and were scarcely relatable. The only enjoyable aspects were the cute fashion-y drawing style and that fact that it was over in about 20 minutes.
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • La page blanche
  • Culottées #2: Des femmes qui ne font que ce qu'elles veulent (Culottées, #2)
  • Ma vie est tout à fait fascinante
  • Culottées #1 (Culottées, #1)
  • Le zoo pétrifié (Les carnets de Cerise, #1)
  • California Dreamin'
  • La fille dans l'écran
  • Autobiographie d'une fille gaga
  • Les gratitudes
  • Confessions d'une Glitter Addict
  • Le parfum du bonheur est plus fort sous la pluie
  • Dans la combi de Thomas Pesquet
  • Joséphine (Joséphine, #1)
  • とんがり帽子のアトリエ 2 特装版
  • Polina
  • Kvinner i kamp - 150 år med likhet, frihet, søsterskap
  • Paroles d'Honneur
  • とんがり帽子のアトリエ 4 [Tongari Boushi no Atelier 4] (Witch Hat Atelier, #4)
See similar books…

Other books in the series

J'aurais adoré être ethnologue (3 books)
  • La théorie de la contorsion
  • La tectonique des plaques