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Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


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READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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E: Shmirsky

  Amazon  

3 stars

Shmirsky (wonderfully subtitled "Think Inside the Box"), by the enigmatically abbreviated "E", is a short little book about vaginas, specifically vaginas that are in or are nearing perimenopause. "Shmirsky," in the author's parlance, means both "vagina" and "female," and she happily uses the word throughout the book in both senses. In Shmirsky E describes her experiences going through menopause, and she offers a lot of platitudes as well as real information to readers: lists of menopause-related internet resources, information about hormone therapy options and thyroid conditions, and so on. E is very big on menopausal shmirskies (shudder) getting support--not only from their gynecologists but also from family and friends, one's "shmirsky [shudder] board": perimenopause can be something of a party.

I understand that the author's cutesy terminology and writing style are meant to put the reader at ease, but as my parenthetical shudders above may suggest, I have a hard time with it. Give me bare medical terminology any day over this. The cutesiness is often over the top:

"While you're doing this research [to find a gynecologist], think of yourself as a shmirsky private investigator at the center of a sexy espionage thriller. It's always the middle of a hot summer in those stories, so your hot flashes set the mood perfectly. Put on a big-brimmed hat and speak with a 1940s New York accent, and you'll be good to go. You see, looking for a gynecologist can get pretty exciting!"


I also think that it's not always clear who the intended audience of the book is: the perimenopausal shmirsky (shudder) is unlikely to require a definition of "gynecologist" or "PMS," for example.

All that said, if you're a shmirsky (sigh) nearing menopause, this book may offer some helpful advice.

Comments

1.

Perhaps it's the author's way of starting a terminological trend. Do you think it's well-qualified? It's pretty bold of her, but promising, nonetheless. The word 'shmirshky' might be a bit hard to read mentally (my eyes just skim through the letters), but it's effective in bringing a more positive tone to the matter. I'm sure that the book has already helped a lot of women.

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