“The Majesty of St. Francisville” photography by Kerri McCafferty and text by Lee Malone. Pelican Publishing, 2014. $22.95.

If you are looking for a gift or table book with great pictures and a brief narrative that covers the beautiful homes and areas of St Francisville, then this is a nice compilation.

The book contains more than 160 photos taken by award-winning photographer Kerri McCafferty and brief summaries of the homes and locations are provided by Lee Malone. It was nice to see these historic homes and their interiors and other wonderful nature images of the area.

Included are photographs of not only the places many are familiar with such as The Myrtles and Rosedown, but also of Afton Villa Gardens, Millbank, Rosale, Retreat Plantation House, and St. Mary’s Church.

The book includes a nice map of all of the locations referenced and works as a nice guide for those interested in exploring the area further.

— Anna Guerra, Denham Springs

“The Anatomy Lesson” by Nina Siegal. Nan A. Talese, 2014. $25.95.

This rich, compelling story starts with a painting by Rembrandt.

It then plunges through the ochre and brushstrokes to the heart-sore stories behind the masterwork, told through the point of view of a thief (The Body), the painter (The Eyes), a doctor (The Hands), the thief’s beloved (The Heart), master mathematician René Descartes (The Mind), and a curio dealer and body-fetcher (The Mouth). It’s a glorious story, presented in a most intriguing manner.

Resist the urge to Google and glance at the painting as the story canters along. Siegal will get you there; follow her story first.

— Beth Colvin, bcolvin@theadvocate.com