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D.G.Wills Books

7461 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, Ca. 92037 (858)456-1800
HOURS: Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm; Sunday 11am-5pm
La Jolla's largest collection of new and used scholarly books; and home of the La Jolla Cultural Society.


Visit the D.G.Wills Books YouTube Channel, featuring past appearances by Norman Mailer, Gore Vidal, Maureen Dowd, Freeman Dyson, Allen Ginsberg, Christopher Hitchens, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gary Snyder, Michael McClure, Billy Collins, Iris Chang, Patricia Neal with Stephen Michael Shearer, Edward Albee, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Oliver Stone, Sean Penn, and Senator Byron L. Dorgan. 
D.G.Wills Books events on Book TV, C-SPAN:
Professor Yunte Huang discussing his book Charlie Chan.
Journalist Dave Zirin discusses his book  Welcome to the Terrordome.
D.G.Wills Books events  on UCSD TV:
Professor Robert Polito and Patricia Patterson discussing
Professor Andrew Feenberg discussing his collection The Essential Marcuse.
D.G.Wills Books events on TSN: THE SCIENCE NETWORK:
Professor V.S. Ramachandran dicusses his book The Tell Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human. 

Professor Lawrence M. Krauss discusses his book Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life In Science.



Emmy-nominated Producer
will discuss his acclaimed new book

 Stories from the Kennedy Center, the White House, and Other Comedy Venues
Friday, January 7th, 2022, 7PM


In The Man Who Made Mark Twain Famous, Cappy McGarr shares how he became an Emmy-nominated founder/executive producer of the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and got involved in national politics—all with charming southern style and a self-deprecating sense of humor. For decades, Cappy McGarr has been in the room where it happens. With The Man Who Made Mark Twain Famous, he’d like to invite you into that room, complete with his color commentary on the other folks inside.

For the first time in print, Cappy reveals how the Mark Twain Prize was conceived, how it changed venues and networks, and even how it almost wasn’t renewed after a controversial first outing with Richard Pryor. From there, Cappy pulls back the curtain for a behind-the-scenes look at over two decades of the Mark Twain Prize, sharing his take on the Kennedy Center’s tributes to Pryor, Jonathan Winters, Carl Reiner, Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Newhart, Lily Tomlin, Lorne Michaels, Steve Martin, Neil Simon, Billy Crystal, George Carlin, Bill Cosby, Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, Ellen DeGeneres, Carol Burnett, Jay Leno, Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, David Letterman, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Dave Chappelle. Cappy also gives the inside scoop on several shows he produced from the East Room of the White House, including the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Plus, he tells tales from his involvement in national politics—including encounters with the likes of President Lyndon B. Johnson, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, Governor Ann Richards, President George W. Bush, President Barack Obama, and many others.

“Reading Cappy’s book is not unlike sitting down to dinner with him and listening to the stories he has picked up from decades of rubbing elbows with political leaders and comedians alike. There are historic set pieces. There are laughs and howls and chuckles and chortles.” Ken Burns

“I have no doubt that if Mark Twain could vote, he would give his Prize to the brilliantly funny Cappy McGarr. Cappy’s witty, self-deprecating account of his work as a creator of the Mark Twain Prize makes it clear: the reports of humor’s death in Washington are greatly exaggerated.” – David Rubenstein, Chair of the Kennedy Center

Cappy McGarr is an Emmy-nominated co-creator and Executive Producer of the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, and the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. He has also served as an Executive Producer of seven White House musical performances honoring music legends including Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney, and Carole King.  His writing has been published in The New York Times, Politico, and USA Today.


Renowned Paleontologist and SDSU Professor
David Archibald

will discuss his critically acclaimed new book


Friday, January 14th, 7PM ,2022



In 1859 Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species. In this bedrock of biology books Darwin carved a new origin-story for all life: evolution rather than creation. In his new biography J. David Archibald describes and analyzes Darwin’s prodigious body of work, as well as his equally productive home life – he lived with his wife and seven children in the hectic environs of Down House, south of London. There among his family and friends Darwin continued to experiment and write many more books on orchids, sex, emotions, and earthworms until his death in 1882, when he was honored with burial at Westminster Abbey. This is a fresh, up-to-date account of the life and work of a most remarkable man.


David Archibald taught at Yale University from 1977-83, is Professor Emeritus of Biology, San Diego State University, and Curator of Mammals at the SDSU Vertebrate Collections. He is the author or co-editor of many books including Charles Darwin: A Reference Guide to His Life and Works; Origins of Darwin's Evolution: Solving the Species Puzzle Through Time and Place; Dinosaur Extinction and the End of an Era: What the Fossils Say; and Aristotle's Ladder, Darwin's Tree: The Evolution of Visual Metaphors for Biological Order.

Previous Events at D.G.Wills Books


Christopher Hitchens


Oscar-Winning Actor Sean Penn


Oscar-Winning Director Oliver Stone


Historian and Churchill biographer Sir Martin Gilbert


Francoise Gilot


Vogue magazine photo of Francoise Gilot at the original store


Michael McClure


Yevgeny Yevtushenko


Nobel Laureate Gerald Edelman, Director of the Neurosciences Institute, with U.C. Berkeley philosopher John Searle with Mrs. Searle


Nobel Laureate Manfred Eigen


Quincy Troupe


Iris Chang


Gerry Spence


Noted editor Robert Weil, editing a Patricia Highsmith manuscript for W.W. Norton & Co.


N. Parthasarathi, Indian Consul General, San Francisco; and Nirupama Rao, Ambassador of India to the U.S.



Loeb Classical Library and Western Philosophy wall

Previous Events at D.G.Wills Books 



Ted Burke, Norman Mailer, Dennis Wills


Allen Ginsberg, l994


The New York Times Pulitzer Prize Columnist Maureen Dowd


Jill Abramson, Executive Editor, The New York Times, with Maureen Dowd


Billy Collins, Poet Laureate of the United States, 2001-2003


Lawrence Ferlinghetti


Gore Vidal, November 2005

Listen to this event


Gore Vidal with Professor Dennis Altman


Gore Vidal, March l998, with noted South African playwright Athol Fugard in audience


Nobel Laureate Francis Crick, February 1995


James D. Watson and Francis Crick with their model of the DNA molecule, the Double Helix, at Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University, l953


Nobel Laureate James D. Watson, September 2007


Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott


Nobel Laureate Kary Mullis


Three & One-Half Time Pulitzer Prize Playwright Edward Albee


Pulitzer Prize Poet Gary Snyder


Pulitzer Prize poet Gary Snyder


Oscar-Winning Actress Patricia Neal with her biographer Stephen Michael Shearer


Patricia Neal holding a model of "Gort" from the science fiction film classic "The Day the Earth Stood Still"


Richard C. Atkinson, President Emeritus of the University of California, former UCSD Chancellor and former Director of the National Science Foundation


Renowned scientist Freeman Dyson 


Freeman Dyson with Mrs. Dyson


A visit from Oscar Nominated and Emmy Award Winning Actor Paul Giamatti


A visit from Jim Belushi, 2003


Jim Belushi at the original store, l988


Claude Picasso and Francoise Gilot

More photos of previous events

D.G.Wills Books
7461 Girard Avenue, La Jolla
(858) 456-1800