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What's new: books out this week

New titles from Scott Simon, T.C. Boyle and

New titles from Scott Simon, T.C. Boyle and Sarah Helm.

THE HARDER THEY COME, by T.C. Boyle. In his 15th novel, the author of "The Tortilla Curtain" and "Drop City" probes the psyches of three combustible characters: Sten, a 70-year-old Vietnam vet who kills an armed robber in the novel's bravura opening; Sten's unbalanced son, Adam, who lives in the Redwoods and styles himself a mountain man; and Adam's older lover, Sara, an antigovernment anarchist. Sparks will fly. (Ecco, $27.99)


RAVENSBRÜCK: Life and Death in Hitler's Concentration Camp for Women, by Sarah Helm. Unlike Auschwitz or Bergen-Belsen, the Nazi concentration camp at Ravensbrück, north of Berlin, is not a household name. Drawing on declassified documents from the former Soviet Union, as well as interviews with survivors, British journalist Helm chronicles life at this camp, where all the inmates were women, and only a small number of them Jews. (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, $37.50)


UNFORGETTABLE: A Son, a Mother, and the Lessons of a Lifetime, by Scott Simon. In 2013, NPR host Scott Simon of "Weekend Edition" tweeted a series of observations and reflections from the intensive care unit where his 84-year-old mother lay dying of lung cancer. Now Simon has expanded those 140-character dispatches into a deeply felt memoir -- about his divorced single mom, who once worked nightclubs and dated mobsters, and about the end of life. (Flatiron, $24.99)


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