I haven't seen the movie Contagion, but a good (fictional) pandemic always gets me excited. When I heard about Contagion, I was reminded of some of my favorite pandemic books.
After reading Peeps by Scott Westerfield, I could never look at a marshmallow chick the same. A sexually-transmitted parasite is spreading across the US. People with this parasite (aka peeps) hate everything they used to love and eat their friends. Cal is an asymptomatic carrier. His job, to track down other Peeps and contain the spread. The best part of the book is the alternating chapters filled with scientific facts on real parasites from Parasite Rex by Carl Zimmer.
A Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier also has alternating chapters, between people in the City, the place some people go when they die, and Antarctica, where Laura Byrd is not dead yet. What caused this pandemic? Where do people go when they disappear from the City? And is Laura the only person left alive?
I never did finish The Passage by Justin Cronin, bu the part I got to has stock with me. A virus found in the remote jungle turns people into grotesque blood-suckers. Those infected are being observed in a remote, high-security facility. What happens next? I don't know. I've got to take another stab at this one.