I just finished reading the book Ask the Pilot by Patrick Smith. Smith is an airline pilot and freelance writer who has a weekly column about air travel on Salon.com.
The book is a collection of essays written by Smith, along with some questions and answers. Although not written in a techno-nerd style, the answers give a good overview of technical information including how planes fly, turbulence and weather, and safety related issues, along with some historical airline information. Smith also does a good job of debunking many of the myths of air travel.
Ask the Pilot does just what it set out to do: it gives a sometimes serious, sometimes irreverent, look at air travel from the point of view of a sometimes pilot, sometimes passenger.
It was a quick, enjoyable read, and I recommend it to anyone who travels a lot, or who has a curiosity or fear of flying.
Now, if only there was a book, Ask the Flight Attendant. I'm guessing a few of those questions would be answered differently.