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D.G.Wills Books

7461 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, Ca. 92037 (858)456-1800
HOURS: Monday-Saturday 10am-7pm; 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, Allen Ginsberg, Christopher Hitchens, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gary Snyder, Billy Collins, Patricia Neal with Stephen Michael Shearer, Edward Albee, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, and Oliver Stone. 
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.


Upcoming Events

Noted author

Chris Ahrens

will read and discuss his new novel


Saturday, August 2nd, 7PM



Jose De la Luz Santiago was larger than life for everyone he encountered, including the train that tried to kill him. Though he was left with a deep dent in his forehead, his joyous disposition and a complex faith built around Jose Cuervo Tequila, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the Union Pacific Railroad – his personal trinity – Jose was undaunted by life. Los Angeles was built by him and around him, and Jose fought to keep the spirit of the city alive when “progress” dismantled the red car system and greed wiped out Chavez Ravine. 

 Chris Ahrens has written bylines for thirty years in every major surfing publication in the world, followed by three popular books on surfing. As Editor of Risen Magazine, he interviewed film and rock stars. He wrote and directed the award-winning documentary D.O.P.E. (Death or Prison Eventually), and co-wrote the memoirs of legendary skateboarder Christian Hosoi.


Daryl Brown,
 son of  The Godfather of Soul

 will discuss his new book

Saturday, August 23, 7PM


Inside the Godfather is a history changing book about drugs, sex, lies, adultery, racism, murder, religion, politics, deceit, lust, Rock & Roll and bribery but most importantly, it will set the record straight about James Brown, The Godfather of Soul. James Brown, The Godfather of Soul, may be the most misunderstood man in the last century. Confusion emerges as a consequence of the complexities in his life. His contributions toward modern music pale in comparison to the indispensable role he played in modern history. Brown lifted all races toward the ideals of equality and opportunity. Tragically, while he had the ability to calm the storms of social turmoil - his personal life was a perpetual tempest; sex, drugs, rhythm & blues.


 Inside the Godfather brings together, for the first time, those from Brown’s inner circle, who will correct the distortions of the past and provide for the reader a clear understanding of the brilliance and generosity that was James Brown, Mr. Dynamite.


Music icon James Brown's son Daryl Brown is a songwriter, musician and producer and grew up with a very clear understanding of who his father was… James Brown, The Godfather of Soul. Daryl played on countless James Brown smash hit songs and twice toured the world with his dad. Daryl has appeared on Jay Leno, David Letterman, BET, MTV and The American Music Awards to mention a few. Daryl has also appeared in films such as Jackie Chan's “The Tuxedo” and more.


San Diego poet
Joe Safdie

 will read from his new book
Saturday, September 6, 7pm


“Joe Safdie's new book exists in a place where poetry joins with other forms of thought & knowledge - "history, myth, politics, autobiographical narrative, criticism, prose," as he lists them elsewhere - to make a new hybridity in place of what has been kept apart & alien for far too long.  In doing so, he joins a select company of poets for whom nothing human is foreign & everything observed or imagined can enter the field of the poem. That he does it with boundless humor & grace is also worth noting.”

                                                                       --Jerome Rothenberg


“Poet Joe Safdie is at his best as he refreshes and renews the ancient story of Orpheus, which opens his new book Scholarship.  Eloquent in his personal yet classic presentation of history, myth, politics and autobiography, he writes with an accomplished yet easily accessible voice that segues through time to the news of the moment, presenting an intimate and politically astute personal view of the ordinary events that make up the classic past and immediate present of poetry.”

                                          --Joanne Kyger


Joe Safdie is a poet and Assistant Professor of English at San Diego Mesa College. His previous books include Wake Up The Panthers, Saturn Return, Spring Training,  September Song, and Mary Shelley’s Surfboard.



Music historian

Michael James Roberts

 will discuss his new book


 Rock’n’Roll, the Labor Question

 and the Musicians Union, l942-1968

Saturday, September 27, 7PM


For two decades after rock music emerged in the 1940s, the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), the oldest and largest labor union representing professional musicians in the United States and Canada, refused to recognize rock 'n' roll as legitimate music or its performers as skilled musicians. The AFM never actively organized rock 'n' roll musicians, although recruiting them would have been in the union's economic interest. In Tell Tchaikovsky the News, Michael James Roberts argues that the reasons that the union failed to act in its own interest lay in its culture, in the opinions of its leadership and elite rank-and-file members. Explaining the bias of union members—most of whom were classical or jazz music performers—against rock music and musicians, Roberts addresses issues of race and class, questions of what qualified someone as a skilled or professional musician, and the threat that records, central to rock 'n' roll, posed to AFM members, who had long privileged live performances. Roberts contends that by rejecting rock 'n' rollers for two decades, the once formidable American Federation of Musicians lost their clout within the music industry.

“Successfully breaking down the categories of labor studies and aesthetics, Michael James Roberts has written a superb account of how the American Federation of Musicians lost its bargaining power with the record industry. He shows that its refusal to recognize the value of popular music of the past forty years led to its narrowing and ultimate reduction of influence over the most vital section of the music industry.”      --Stanley Aronowitz

Michael James Roberts is Associate Professor of Sociology at San Diego State University.

Previous Events at D.G.Wills Books


Christopher Hitchens


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.



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