Good Minds Suggest—Kathy Eldon's Favorite Books About Creative Visionaries

August, 2013
Kathy Eldon A writer, filmmaker, and activist, Kathy Eldon was galvanized by the death of her son, Dan Eldon, a 22-year-old photojournalist and artist who was killed while on assignment in Somalia. Getting her son's journals (collages of photography, art, and text) exhibited all over the world and founding the nonprofit Creative Visions Foundation with her daughter, Eldon has hoped to carry on her son's legacy by supporting media and arts projects for social activism. In addition to incubating the work of other artists, Eldon's own output has ranged from Angel Catcher, first of several self-help journals, to executive producing the television series Rock Your World. Her new memoir, In the Heart of Life, describes her formative years as an expat newlywed in Kenya, the loss of her son, and her ongoing personal evolution. Eldon shares her favorite books by visionaries who made their dreams a reality.

Life's Operating Manual by Tom Shadyac (Goodreads Author)
"Tom Shadyac's first book is a page-turning reflection of his journey as a filmmaker, stand-up comic, and professor of 'Story Telling and Life.' Including quotes from Rumi, Hafiz, and Emerson, he carries on a conversation between Fear and Truth. Shadyac, who has started a movement among his Pepperdine students to follow 'their truth,' admits that he is 'the last person you might expect to deliver a message about fixing a world gone wrong,' but regardless, his entertaining story rings true."


Build Your Dreams: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love by Chip Hiden & Alexis Irvin
"Two disruptive twentysomethings share step-by-step exercises about how to manifest your own big dreams, including goal setting, time management, learning to focus, and, most importantly, believing you absolutely can live the life of your choice. I love this book, which emerged from their 'Dream Share' project that is part of our Creative Visions Foundation—and I turn to it anytime I need to remind myself to think big."


Making the Impossible Possible by Bill Strickland
"This inspiring story is by Bill Strickland, a ghetto kid from Pittsburg who launched an educational movement that fosters innovation, creativity, responsibility, and integrity. Bill, who won the coveted MacArthur Genius award, reminds us 'a successful life is not something you simply pursue, it is something that you create, moment by moment.'"


Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell: Adventurer, Adviser to Kings, Ally of Lawrence of Arabia by Janet Wallach
"This is an extraordinary tale of a courageous activist in Victorian England, Gertrude Bell, who explored, mapped, and excavated the hitherto almost unknown Arab world. This red-haired adventurer, spy, and confidante to T.E. Lawrence has become one of my superheroes—and a shining example for all of us who are determined to follow our bliss."



Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
In 1962, my mother introduced me to this book, which was greeted by a barrage of vitriolic comments from critics who pooh-poohed Rachel Carson's observations about the dangers of pesticide to our environment. But that insightful creative activist was right; birds, plants, animals, and the human race were on the brink of disaster.


Vote for your own favorites on Listopia: Books for and About Activists



Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Raam (last edited Sep 02, 2013 09:49PM) (new)

Raam Anand Dear Kathy... it was a great pleasure to meet you at your party in Malibu, last June. I came with Susan. And, thanks for these amazing books suggestion. Highly appreciated.


back to top