Created by Yellowknifers Sarah Swan and Mike Mitchell and located in the heart of the Snowcastle, the Lie-brary is the coolest place in town.

This collection of woodblocks painted to look like books parodies local experiences and classic literature — often to hilarious effect. Rooted in Yellowknifer experiences and people, the Lie-brary showcases a variety of titles to enjoy. Swan and Mitchell branched into various genres in this project, making the smooth transition between Non-Friction to the Friction shelves while speaking to local experiences and Yellowknife folklore.

So stop by to take a shelfie with your favourite book, whether that be The Winter of our Disco Tent or War and Fleece as well as leave your own recommendations in the suggestion box. Lie-brarians will choose their favourites to add to their growing collection in the coming weeks.

Adding to the hilarity of the puns incorporated into the Lie-brary’s book titles and the delight they inspire as art objects, the ways in which each book encourages imaginative engagement makes this collection really stand out. For example, an imaginary negative review of Nancy Druid: Çeltic or Keltic? for the paper could start: I would have forgiven imitation leather but no one could forgive this imitation book. Adapted from one of my mother’s childhood favourites, I went into this slab of a book with high expectations only to find it had tough content and a mystery plot that I could have Googled the answer to.

I wish the characters had branched out a little more but instead, the whole cast seemed frozen in place. As creators Swan and Mitchell themselves mentioned, the plot is a little thin and the characters are wooden. This block of wood could have done more good as sawdust.

Yes, tree metaphors are low-hanging fruit for a library made of wood, but it would be cold of me to keep bringing up our weather so leaf me alone. A shining review of one of Swan and Mitchell’s new titles, alternatively, could go: The Encyclopedia of Broken Promises offered a diverse arrangement of commonly broken promises — not only those we break with others but those we break to ourselves.

While the writing was a little green, the reality that it illustrated was far from it. This collection, while it had me feeling a little blue (though that might have been the paint rubbing off on my fingers), depicted an array of promises from “Zero Emissions by 2050” to “Sure, It’s Gluten-Free” that paint a hefty picture of life as we know it.

Genuinely delightful, the Lie-brary bloomed —for me — into a reading experience like no other. So grab your coats and cameras and ptarmi-get-in there (that pun was a stretch) over the month of March while the Snowcastle is open to enjoy these literary, if not literal, books.

Grace Guy

Grace Guy was born and raised in Yellowknife, and has been writing book reviews featuring Northern and Indigenous content for NNSL Media since 2019. Now, after completing her master of arts at the University...

Leave a comment

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.