A new book written by a veteran airline pilot gives an insider's look at how the air travel industry really works. "Cockpit Confidential" is available on Amazon, and it explains the technical work that airline pilots have to constantly do, and includes information on what's really happening when you encounter turbulence.
Author Patrick Smith says it can also calm a lot of your flying fears by explaining why you're rarely in danger on a plane. It also goes into the hows and whys of some of the worst real world air disasters.
One misconception covered in the book is the notion that planes basically fly themselves. Smith says that, in reality, most of the work during takeoff and landing is done manually.