The MLA Top 100: Jocks or Nerds -The Toast

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Fact: All lists and things being listed can be subdivided as for Jocks, or for Nerds.

The Modern Library’s Top 100 Novels listhilariously compare to the Reader’s list, featuring “Battlefield Earth” (Jocks), and 2 Ayn Rand books (JOOOOCKKKKKS)— is no exception. Joey (and our gorgeous illustrator, Bridget) have started you off, you go from here in the comments. Please also feel free to disagree with him and amongst yourselves.

  1. Ulysses,” James Joyce – Jocks
  2. The Great Gatsby,” F. Scott Fitzgerald – Jocks
  3. “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,” James Joyce – Nerds
  4. Lolita,” Vladimir Nabokov – Jocks
  5. Brave New World,” Aldous Huxley – Nerds
  6. “The Sound and the Fury,” William Faulkner – Jocks
  7. Catch-22,” Joseph Heller – Jocks
  8. Darkness at Noon,” Arthur Koestler – Jocks
  9. Sons and Lovers,” D. H. Lawrence – this review makes me assume it’s for nerds… but things about men up to age 25 might be inherently jocky?
  10. The Grapes of Wrath,” John Steinbeck – Jocks
  11. “Under the Volcano,” Malcolm Lowry – Jocks
  12. “The Way of All Flesh,” Samuel Butler – Nerds
  13. 1984,” George Orwell – Nerds
  14. “I, Claudius,” Robert Graves – Jocks
  15. To the Lighthouse,” Virginia Woolf – Nerds
  16. An American Tragedy,” Theodore Dreiser – Jocks
  17. “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter,” Carson McCullers – Jocks
  18. Slaughterhouse Five,” Kurt Vonnegut – Nerds (Nicole disagrees with this and some other placements -Ed.)
  19. Invisible Man,” Ralph Ellison – Nerds
  20. Native Son,” Richard Wright – Jocks
  21. Henderson the Rain King,” Saul Bellow – Jocks
  22. Appointment in Samarra,” John O’ Hara – Jocks
  23. U.S.A.” (trilogy), John Dos Passos – Jocks
  24. “Winesburg, Ohio,” Sherwood Anderson – Jocks
  25. A Passage to India,” E. M. Forster – Nerds
  26. “The Wings of the Dove,” Henry James – Nerds
  27. The Ambassadors,” Henry James – Nerds
  28. “Tender Is the Night,” F. Scott Fitzgerald – Jocks
  29. The Studs Lonigan Trilogy,” James T. Farrell – Nerds
  30. “The Good Soldier,” Ford Madox Ford – Jocks
  31. Animal Farm,” George Orwell – Nerds
  32. The Golden Bowl,” Henry James
  33. Sister Carrie,” Theodore Dreiser
  34. A Handful of Dust,” Evelyn Waugh
  35. “As I Lay Dying,” William Faulkner
  36. All the King’s Men,” Robert Penn Warren
  37. “The Bridge of San Luis Rey,” Thornton Wilder
  38. “Howards End,” E. M. Forster
  39. Go Tell It on the Mountain,” James Baldwin
  40. “The Heart of the Matter,” Graham Greene
  41. Lord of the Flies,” William Golding – Nerds’ Horror story
  42. Deliverance,” James Dickey – Jocks’ Horror Story
  43. “A Dance to the Music of Time” (series), Anthony Powell
  44. “Point Counter Point,” Aldous Huxley
  45. “The Sun Also Rises,” Ernest Hemingway – Jocks (SO OBVIOUS)
  46. “The Secret Agent,” Joseph Conrad
  47. “Nostromo,” Joseph Conrad
  48. “The Rainbow,” D. H. Lawrence
  49. “Women in Love,” D. H. Lawrence
  50. “Tropic of Cancer,” Henry Miller
  51. The Naked and the Dead,” Norman Mailer
  52. Portnoy’s Complaint,” Philip Roth
  53. Pale Fire,” Vladimir Nabokov
  54. Light in August,” William Faulkner
  55. On the Road,” Jack Kerouac
  56. “The Maltese Falcon,” Dashiell Hammett
  57. “Parade’s End,” Ford Madox Ford
  58. The Age of Innocence,” Edith Wharton
  59. Zuleika Dobson,” Max Beerbohm
  60. The Moviegoer,” Walker Percy
  61. “Death Comes to the Archbishop,” Willa Cather
  62. From Here to Eternity,” James Jones
  63. “The Wapshot Chronicles,” John Cheever
  64. “The Catcher in the Rye,” J. D. Salinger
  65. A Clockwork Orange,” Anthony Burgess
  66. “Of Human Bondage,” W. Somerset Maugham
  67. “Heart of Darkness,” Joseph Conrad
  68. “Main Street,” Sinclair Lewis
  69. “The House of Mirth,” Edith Wharton
  70. The Alexandria Quartet,” Lawrence Durrell
  71. “A High Wind in Jamaica,” Richard Hughes
  72. “A House for Ms. Biswas,” V. S. Naipaul
  73. “The Day of the Locust,” Nathaniel West
  74. “A Farewell to Arms,” Ernest Hemingway
  75. “Scoop,” Evelyn Waugh
  76. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,” Muriel Spark
  77. “Finnegans Wake,” James Joyce
  78. “Kim,” Rudyard Kipling
  79. “A Room With a View,” E. M. Forster
  80. Brideshead Revisited,” Evelyn Waugh
  81. The Adventures of Augie March,” Saul Bellow
  82. “Angle of Repose,” Wallace Stegner
  83. A Bend in the River,” V. S. Naipaul
  84. “The Death of the Heart,” Elizabeth Bowen
  85. Lord Jim,” Joseph Conrad
  86. Ragtime,” E. L. Doctorow
  87. “The Old Wives’ Tale,” Arnold Bennett
  88. “The Call of the Wild,” Jack London
  89. “Loving,” Henry Green
  90. Midnight’s Children,” Salman Rushdie
  91. Tobacco Road,” Erskine Caldwell
  92. Ironweed,” William Kennedy
  93. The Magus,” John Fowles
  94. “Wide Sargasso Sea,” Jean Rhys
  95. “Under the Net,” Iris Murdoch
  96. “Sophie’s Choice,” William Styron
  97. The Sheltering Sky,” Paul Bowles
  98. “The Postman Always Rings Twice,” James M. Cain
  99. “The Ginger Man,” J. P. Donleavy
  100. “The Magnificent Ambersons,” Booth Tarkington

Joey Stern is an aspiring writer who lives in Brooklyn with his husband and their two cats. He most closely identifies with Bender in the episode of Futurama where he builds a giant flame belching statue of himself that screams "Remember Me." Please forward all writings you find by Joey to friends and (ideally) young people so that he can have a Wikipedia page and soothe his crushing fear about facing his own mortality.

Bridget Gibson is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art and currently lives and works in Monmouth County, New Jersey.

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