Psst -- Check These Out, Quick as a Wink 

Cussing folks out, blowing stuff up -- get abreast of who's doing what.

Mia's whole family is killed in a London terrorist bombing, and at first she doesn't go after the perps; then she does in political-columnist Matthew d'Ancona's lithe and lucid novel Going East (Anchor, $14.95). ... When did "shit hot" stop being gross and start being a compliment? Why is "get fucked" a bad thing? Linguist Ruth Wajnryb etymologizes cusswords hella well in Expletive Deleted (FreePress, $18). ... Australopithecus africanus, pharaohs, popes, shoguns, collaborators, Falangists, mass graves, armies, Swiss cheese, cauliflowers, and Hugo Chavez -- they're all in the stirring, sobering, and newly updated National Geographic Visual History of the World ($35): Its final chapter is "Globalization." ... Stucco, acres of cinderblock, and big smoggy skies make for dramatic scenes in The Weather and a Place to Live (Duke/CDS, $39.95), Guggenheim-fellow photographer Steven B. Smith's investigation of new suburbs in the American West. ... They film themselves sucking on grenades; their children play with rifles; they collect "martyr cards" like baseball cards; their posters celebrate blown-up buses spewing blood -- they're Hamas, and now that they're running a government you can learn all about them in The Road to Martyrs' Square (Oxford, $26); authors Anne Marie Oliver and Paul Steinberg lived with a Palestinian family for six months at the height of the intifada.

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