Craig Nagel


For the past thirty years readers of the Lake Country Echo in north-central Minnesota have enjoyed the bi-weekly column by Craig Nagel called “The Cracker Barrel.”

His essays have been photocopied and sent to friends, cut out and taped to the wall or stuck on the refrigerator door, read aloud at various meetings, reprinted in area newsletters and, on occasion, praised or damned in letters to the editor.


Fred’s Way is a coming-of-age novel about a young man torn between going off to college to become an ordained Lutheran pastor or staying home in Chicago to marry his high school sweetheart. It resonates with the agony of someone trying desperately—and often comically—to find his role in a society that refuses to fit his innocent expectations.

The central character, Fred Hansen, is at root a mystic, alive to the wonder and glory of life. Like a latter-day Don Quixote, he’s never quite in synch with what others call reality…

Fred’s Way
by Craig Nagel


Why Books?

Why Books?

“What, exactly, is the point of reading, especially if it’s fiction?” A friend asked the question, and it got me to wondering. Why do some of us elect to spend thousands of hours of our admittedly short lives with our noses buried in books? What real gain is made by...

Reading Season

Reading Season

 It’s that time of year again: reading season. A splendid opportunity is banging at the storm door. You can, of course, read anything you want to, year around. But there’s something about shivery winter nights that makes the prospect of curling up with a book extra...

How About Harrison?

How About Harrison?

Looking for some books to fill the void of lengthy winter evenings? Some stories that might ease their way into your head and gradually enrich your life? If you’re willing to have a few platitudes challenged and brave enough to encounter characters who pulse and...

Craig’s Books

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