I spend a lot of time at 35,000 feet, and while I am not by any stretch a white-knuckle flier, I am the sort who counts the number of seats between me and an exit row before we take off. As the old joke goes, I'm not afraid of flying; it's crashing I fear. And yet, I have a fascination with airborne fender-benders. It's that part of us that's drawn to disaster movies and stories of serial killers. Why do we love the Titanic? Because it sinks.
Just this summer, I was on a jet when lightning flashed (the flight attendant near me shrieked when the windows on the left side of the cabin went white). Here are three books I actually read while five miles off the ground that featured the worst that can happen in the sky. Even though they forced me to face my fears, I loved every moment I spent with them.