World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War & The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks - I'll admit, I'm not a big fan of zombies. I avoid books and movies about them, since they tend to emphasize the gore factor a bit too much for my taste. But then I heard that a movie was being made based on the book, and that fans of the book were up in arms about it. I had to read it.
World War Z (the book) is told, true to it's subtitle, as an oral history. Divided into chronological sections, the story is told through interviews with survivors of the war. The people interviewed range from military to doctors to ordinary people, and follow the spread of the plague, the governments' responses (or lack thereof) and how people managed to survive and, ultimately, beat back the zombie hoards. The first-person narration is gripping and brings you to the heart of the crisis. The raw terror, the helplessness and the desperation are tangible, as is the toll both the war and the terrible solution that won it took on what remains of humanity.
Brooks' companion nonfiction book, The Zombie Survival Guide, is referred to a few times as a "civilian survival manual" during World War Z and is written as such. Offering practical advice from where to go to what to bring with you, the guide is written in the same world as World War Z. It also offers more information about the virus that causes people to turn and a retrospective of recorded attacks dating back to 60,000 B.C. to the attacks that set off the global war. I'd recommend reading it after you've finished World War Z, as the history, advice and scenarios will hold more meaning.