One of the defining qualities of photography is that it can cast the familiar in a different light, to make you look again. The photos in Alexey Titarenko’s new book The City Is a Novel (Damiani, $60) do just that. Titarenko’s signature style is a washed out grayscale that recalls early platinotypes. If you lived in the Soviet Union, as did Titarenko (and I), you would understand where the grayness comes from. Everything in the Soviet Union seemed gray, reflecting the drabness in the water supply, from the country’s soul to its streets.