“Batman: A Visual History” by Matthew K. Manning. DK Publishing, 2014. $50.

Batman fans, rejoice! The visual history of the caped crusader is here!

A foreword by Frank Miller, “The Dark Knight Returns,” is a fitting opening for a book that takes you from Batman’s humble beginning in 1939.

Throughout the book, you will see many of the best story lines and their covers, as well as the introduction of the characters that you have come to love and hate. Follow as Batman is introduced, gains a sidekick, a villain and becomes part of The Justice League. Watch as his arsenal grows and becomes ever more complex with the right gadget or weapon to foil the villain.

This book takes the reader through some of the best art of the comic book universe and shows some of the best story lines that Batman has been a part of.

This book follows Batman the character, not just the comic book title, and all of the supporting characters that have come to play a significant role in Batman’s development. Hardbound, with a hard slip cover, the book comes with two exclusive prints of the caped crusader. Anyone who reads, watches or likes Batman should have this book on their bookshelf!

— Phillip Dequeant, pdequeant@theadvocate.com

“The Little World of Liz Climo” by Liz Climo. Running Press, 2014. $14.

Illustrator Liz Climo is well-known for her “Hi, I’m Liz” blog, one of the most popular Tumblr sites. In this collection, Climo gathers 138 of her favorite illustrations, each containing just two or three simple frames that portray cute and charming animals in various adorable predicaments and situations.

Can snakes play Twister? How do porcupines hug one another? Is it possible to throw a surprise party for a skunk? Should a squirrel and a rabbit buy a gift for their friend, a groundhog, on Groundhog Day? How do fish play I Spy in a barren fishbowl? The Little World of Liz Climo is a delightful treat to buy for yourself or to give as a gift to friends and family of all ages.

— Laura Acosta, Baton Rouge

“The Ghost Will See You Now: Haunted Hospitals of the South” by Randy Russell. John F. Blair Publisher, 2014. $19.95.

Randy Russell’s state-by-state guide to Southern hospital hauntings, “The Ghost Will See You Now,” includes over 40 ghost stories, historical tidbits and lists of sightings in 13 states across the U.S.

In addition to the numerous hospital sightings, Russell includes ghost and haunting tales that have also included medical-care facilities as diverse as sanitariums, spas, dental clinics, treatment centers at historic forts, nursing homes, hospice centers, ambulances, hospital train cars and The Pharmacy Museum in New Orleans.

Whether or not you personally believe in ghosts, the histories and back stories of some of these locations and people are great to learn more about. A self-described “ghostlorist,” Russell’s book is filled with fun information and is a great book for travelers who enjoy finding offbeat locations to visit.

I often include the Pharmacy Museum in New Orleans on various French Quarter tours for my friends, and now I will enjoy including the story of Catherine “Tuttie” Simon, the “Ghost in a Jar,” and I will be sure to look for her on my next visit.

— Anna Guerra, Denham Springs