Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus
Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy
Viking: 2012 $25.95

As Wasik and Murphy warn in their introduction, this book is not for the squeamish. Yet those who are fascinated by how viruses attack the body, by the history of vaccination and by physicians' efforts to save the most desperately ill patients will want to read it. There is also a happy ending: scientists are working to harness rabies as a potent drug delivery vehicle.