Book Review: How Do We Know We’re Doing It Right? by Pandora Sykes

I completed my September TBR early on in the month which meant I’ve spent the rest of the month either not reading or reading whatever I wanted.

After reading Can Everyone Please Calm Down? A Guide to 21st Century Sexuality earlier in the month I realised that, actually, reading non-fiction isn’t as tedious as I thought. I love getting lost in fiction but I’ve realised that the same thing happens with non-fiction: you get lost in details, facts, figures and opinions.

I regard Dolly Alderton’s Everything I Know About Love as one of my favourite books so it’s only right that I read a book by her former podcast co-host and friend, Pandora Sykes. I was initially apprehensive with this one but, in the end, I’m glad I gave it a go.


Modern life is full of choices. We’re told that happiness lies within and we can be whoever we want to be. But with endless possibility comes a feeling of restlessness; like we’re somehow failing to live our best life. What does doing it right even look like? And why do so many women feel like they’re getting it wrong?

From that Zara dress to millennial burnout, the explosion of wellness to the rise of cancel culture, Pandora Sykes interrogates the stories we’ve been sold and the ones we tell ourselves. Wide-ranging, thoughtful and witty, How Do We Know We’re Doing It Right? explores the anxieties and myths that consume our lives and the tools we use to muddle through.

So sit back and take a breath. It’s time to stop worrying about the answers ­– and start delighting in the questions.

My Thoughts

How Do We Know We’re Doing It Right? fails to answer its own question but, through a series of essays, Sykes takes the reader through modern life: its joys, its hardships, its problems.

I always find non-fiction hard to review as there’s no characters to think about or relate to but Sykes talks about womanhood, wellness and so many other topics in a way that is so accessible, informative but also humorous at times you can’t help but think “this reminds me of (insert person here)”.

With links for further reading and various quotations dotted around, it read like the essays I read and wrote (though not as well or professionally as Sykes) at university but — thankfully — it didn’t feel as daunting as I thought it would.

The book begins with references to the ongoing Covid pandemic and, whilst I do tend to shy away from books about that awful time, it was interesting to read about it from somebody else’s perspective.

It didn’t answer its own question but what this book does manage to do is educate me on areas I have little knowledge about, for example the fast fashion industry and how trends come about.

How Do We Know We’re Doing It Right? is an interesting look at a modern life. If you’re a fan of non-fiction full of facts, figures and opinions, this is the book for you.

You can follow Pandora Sykes on Twitter and Instagram .

You can buy this book here.

4 thoughts on “Book Review: How Do We Know We’re Doing It Right? by Pandora Sykes

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