Monday, September 19, 2016

Past and Present Reads as Book Reviews With Some Cinema by Frank Funicello

READS. And take me to the movies....

Did someone say "cinema", "baseball", "Kevin Costner", and "books"?

Frank Funicello is a relative of Annette Funicello, the star of the Mickey Mouse Club Mouseketeers in the 1950's. Frank has started READS, a book review blog (with occasional cinema reviews) at Past and Present Reads. Frank really knows his books and movies.

Thus far he has short takes on cinema, baseball, a murder trial, and more:
  • for Baseball fans and Kevin Costner fans, see Frank's Say it ain't so, where he writes:
    "Yesterday, the Canadian writer W.P. Kinsella passed into his own field of dreams.  A lot of people may have never heard of him but his novel Shoeless Joe went on to become the film Field of Dreams, with which many are familiar.  As often is the case, the book was better than the film, although the film wasn't awful, just a touch on the "schmaltzy" side and personally I think it was Kevin Costner's best movie next to his Bull Durham."
  • When in Rome (or Pompeii)..... Books and Film
  • Re: Re-Reading "tasty" or "digestible" books
  • Murder, She Wrote (about)....  a murder trial out of Australia 
  • Man, that Booker on the Man Booker Prize
  • Danish, anyone? on The Danish Girl cinema film

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Global Innovation to Transgress Cultural Boundaries

A new book by Springer publishers in the category of
"Professional Learning and Development in Schools and Higher Education"
is Global Innovation of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
subtitled as Transgressing Boundaries, Eds: Prudence C. Layne & Peter Lake.

The book is described at that page as "Bridges approaches to teaching and learning across the boundaries of different cultures, disciplines and institutions." Obviously this is a topic of actual, current interest.

Monday, September 14, 2015

CreateSpace Book to eBook Kindle Conversion of Books With Images via K2pdfopt and Calibre

CreateSpace Book to eBook Kindle Conversion of Books With Images

We make no warranty that this will work for you. Perhaps another, simpler method is available. When we first did this, none was. The procedure described below is complicated, but doable and it works for us. Here is what we do.

The objective: Creating a MOBI file usable in a Kindle publication when the book to be converted to Kindle format includes images. Normally, this can be difficult or impossible to do, since Kindle is set up mainly for text-based books. When we used the automatic CreateSpace link to convert our print book to Kindle, all we got back was impossible garble. We needed a different solution.

The method: Converting native (i.e. normal) pdf files of text and images to a pdf file consisting of each page as a singular graphic image page, i.e. including text and graphics as one image, which is then shown in that format on Kindle.

First: Create a normal "native" pdf file of your book from e.g. a .docx file which can be done in Microsoft Word (latest version) via the "Export" function under the menu item "File". This works for us in the subsequently described conversion procedure. We can not speak for pdf files created by other programs.

Second: Download and use K2pdfopt. Load that native pdf file into the file list of the program K2PDFOPT (download the version suitable for your system). K2pdfopt has dozens of commands for tweaking pdf files.

Our objective is to obtain each page of our book as a separate image for our pdf file and then automatically obtain a new pdf file of the whole book formatted in that manner.

Here is how you do it with k2pdfopt.exe.

The Command settings in k2pdfopt for conversion of pages as graphic images:

Load your normal "native" pdf file into the file list (do not click "native" ! in the lower commands or you just get a "normal" pdf file again).

Add these options from the options below that list:

Additional options:
  • enter exactly the following text with hyphens and space
    -bp -mc
Command-line version options
  • enter exactly the following text with hyphens and spaces
    -mode copy -de 1.5 -odpi 167 -h 1180 -w 800 -ws 0.2
  • Max columns: 1
  • Document Resolution Factor 1.0
  • Crop Margins (in): Left 0.00 Top 0.00 Right 0.00 Bottom 0.00
  • Pages to convert: (all)
Check (select) with the checkmark the following options:
  • Color output if your pdf has pages in color
  • Ignore small defects
  • Forget the rest unless you have special option requirements
At the right top of that same command page at k2pdfopt,
enter the following settings:
  • Device: Kindle 1-5
  • Width 800 px
  • Height 1180 px
  • DPI 167 (not sure if this is standard or determined by the pdf)
  • Conversion Mode: copy
Make sure the conversion mode is "copy". Then click "Convert All Files" and each page of your pdf will be converted to a graphic image, one by one as you can see on the screen. If not, you may have to reformat your Word file and make sure you have "page breaks" after each page or your result can lead to different pages on the screen than what you had in the original.

The resulting pdf is a pdf composed of each page of the original source converted to one graphic image (both text and graphic image parts). This, however, reduces what the reader can do with the text in Kindle but is better than any other alternative known to us. The reader can zoom any page like a graphic image for easier reading, which is not only useful for texts, but also great for graphic images. Negative is that the font and text sizes can not be changed as such per se but can only be "zoomed". But it works.

Download Calibre. That k2pdfopt pdf "image" file of a book can then be converted to the necessary Kindle "MOBI" format using the program Calibre which can be downloaded online at

Load the resulting k2pdfopt pdf file into Calibre and select the "Convert books" option and then pick MOBI from the list of options. Calibre converts the pdf file to MOBI -- if memory serves correctly, placing it into an automatically created CalibreBooks directory in a file named after the book author. At least, that is what we use.

Download KindlePreviewer. Check now to see how the book looks with the KindlePreviewer, which allows you to see the book in all Kindle versions, also iOS. You can now upload your book to Kindle.

Caveat Emptor: Please note that we do not do any personal consultations on this matter. We are simply reporting our experience, and if it is useful to you, fine. If not, you may have to tweak your own solution. We have at least shown then how it "could" be done. Surely improvements are possible.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Free Scrivener Templates for Books at GalleyCat

See some free Scrivener templates for books via this link at GalleyCat.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Fewer Deals at Amazon Online as Competition Wanes: See Books Feature at The New York Times

Click this link for the Books feature at the The New York Times.

Interesting reading there currently is an article by David Streitfeld, As Competition Wanes, Amazon Cuts Back Discounts, July 4, 2013.

Friday, September 14, 2012

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