Books

10 Best Python Books for Beginners & Advanced Programmers

Ever since its initial design in 1991 by Guido Van Russom in CWI, Python has gained traction. Python’s extensive uses in web development, complex data analysis, and machine learning drive its popularity. Though Python practice problems exist, the interpreted high-level machine-level language is touted as the first language a programmer should learn.

The soaring popularity of the language has amplified opportunities for programmers. If you plan to learn the language from scratch or just wish to up your python game, there’s a vast resource available out there. Whether you are a beginner or coder, it’s easy to get a grip over the language provided you choose the right book for your unique learning needs.

Best Python Books

Join us on a journey across the 10 Best Python Books for beginners and advanced programmers. It’s your chance to be in the know.

1. Python Crash Course

Python Crash Course

As the name suggests, the book is a crash course in Python for those new to the language. The 544-page book helps you to beef up your knowledge of Python with comprehensive content and a thoughtful presentation style.

The book features multiple libraries, such as Pygame, Matplotib, Plotly, Django, and more. The author, Eric Matthes, has cleverly divided the book into two sections.

The first section deals with basic concepts and how to use them to create programs. The second section is about testing the knowledge acquired to complete three different projects.

That makes the book suitable not only for a beginner but also for someone with intermediate-level knowledge of Python. By the time you finish reading it, you will know how to write programs with Python and solve Python practice problems.

Book at a glance:

  • Pages: 544
  • Suitability: Beginners and inter
  • Published in: 2015
  • Author: Eric Matthes
  • Original language: English
  • Latest Edition: Second

2. Think Python: how to think like a Computer Scientist 2nd Edition

Think Python

Think Python by Allen B. Downey is a straightforward introduction to Python programming. Living up to its name, the book actually makes you think like a coder and help imbibe the best practices for successful Python programming.  That speaks for the book’s popularity.

Rather than choosing a few topics for an in-depth discussion, the book delves into a broader range of topics. All key topics, such as operator overloading, polymorphism, analysis of algorithms, and mutability versus immutability are discussed elaborately. Plus, it has four exercises to put the learnings from the book into practice.

Book at a glance:

  • Pages: 429
  • Suitability: Beginners and inter
  • Published in: 2015
  • Author: Allen B. Downey
  • Original language: English

3. Head-first Python, 2nd Edition

Head-first Python, 2nd Edition

Paul Barry had an experience of over a decade in the IT industry before pursuing a career as a lecturer at the Institute of Technology Carlow, Ireland. Therefore, he has the credentials to write on as technical a subject as Python.

The book is a quick guide to learn the language, covering Python web apps, database management, exception handling, data wrangling, comprehensions, context managers, decorators, generators, and other key topics.

For speedy and stickier learning, the author takes a visual approach to provide illustrations and examples.  Despite the unique visual approach, it does not compromises content quality.

Book at a glance:

  • Author: Paul Barry
  • Suitability: Beginners and inter
  • Published in: 2016
  • Original language: English
  • Latest Edition: Second

4. Learn Python the Hard Way, 3rd Edition

Learn Python the hard way

Learn Python the hard way is a quality offering from author, Zed A. Shaw. It walks you through a diverse range of topics, such as basic mathematics, strings, variables, files, loops, programs, and data structures.

The book focuses on teaching Python the hard way, i.e. by learning to code. The book has 52 exercises in all, tailor-made for a beginner. The exercises require you to type the codes, edit the mistakes and then run the code. It even guides you to break-fix and debugs your code.

If the book is followed thoroughly, you won’t be a beginner by the end of it. Also, the book illustrates topics in an easy-to-read format. So, if you are looking for Python for kids, Learn Python the Hard Way makes sense.

Book at a glance:

  • Author: Zed A. Shaw
  • Suitability: Beginners and inter
  • Published in: 2017
  • Original language: English
  • Latest Edition: Third

5. Effective Python: 59 Ways to Write Better Python

Effective Python

Effective Python is ideal for readers with an intermediate level of knowledge of Python. Think of the book as a collection of 59 independent articles on the best Python practices and built-in tools. The book is designed to push your Python skills and make you an expert.

Effective Python elucidates a wide range of topics on varying complexity levels. This includes debugging, optimization, testing, and memory management, to name a few.

As the articles are independent of each other, you can hop around picking and choosing the one you find helpful. Also, the independent articles mean you can read one article at a time and come back to the rest of the book whenever you have the time for it.

Book at a glance:

  • Author: Brett Slatkin
  • Pages: 248
  • Suitability: Inter & Advanced
  • Published in: 2015
  • Original language: English

6. Python Cookbook: Recipes for Mastering Python 3

Python Cookbook

Isn’t it a strange name for a book? But what the book discusses isn’t strange by any means. It’s essentially a collection of “recipes” that help you master the dish called Python 3. Plus, it can help you upgrade your knowledge of Python 2.

The book features a comprehensive range of recipes covering Python and its applications. The topics like data structures, strings, functions, modules, packages, and more are covered extensively. The chapters contain a problem, a sample code, and a discussion on how the sample works for the problem. So, you have answers for your Python practice problems.

However, you require a fundamental knowledge of the topics to make the most of the book. As such, the book isn’t a great buy for a beginner.

Book at a glance:

  • Authors: David Beazley and David K. Jones
  • Suitability: Beginners and inter
  • Published in: 2013
  • Original language: English
  • Latest Edition: Third

7. Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python, 4th Edition

Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python, 4th Edition

The name says it all for “Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python.” It’s more of a guidebook to learning Python to create games than a reference book for the language. Call it the go-to book for anyone aspiring to create games with Python.

The book contains an array of games and teaches the basics required to complete each game. From print statements, escape characters, basic string operations to Boolean operators, all the concepts are elaborated with regards to their use in creating a specific game.

Book at a glance:

  • Author: Al Sweigart
  • Suitability: Beginners and inter
  • Published in: 2013
  • Original language: English
  • Latest Edition: Third

8. Effective Computation in Physics: Field Guide to Research with Python

Effective Computation in Physics

Don’t be fooled by the name! You don’t need a basics understanding of Physics to get the hang of this book. The book is divided into four sections: Getting Started, Getting it Done, Getting it Right, Getting it Out there.

  • Getting it Started is about getting the fundamentals right. It contains a chapter on the bash command line.
  • The second part, Getting it Done builds on the first part to give you practical insights. It makes for one-third of the book.
  • Getting it Right brings to focus the common mistakes one makes when learning Python.
  • The last section, Getting it Out, discusses effective communication with the consumer of the code.

As it turns out to be, the book is a comprehensive guide to Python, and that’s precisely what makes it a must-read.

Book at a glance:

  • Authors: Anthony Scopatz & Kathryn Huff
  • Pages: 552
  • Suitability: Inter and Advanced
  • Published in: 2015
  • Original language: English

9. Programming Python: Powerful Object-Oriented Programming

Programming Python Powerful Object-Oriented Programming

Programming Python Powerful Object-Oriented Programming is a powerful resource for all things Python. Besides all key applications like GUIs, the Web, and system administration, the book also introduces the reader to commonly used tools, syntax, and programming techniques.

The book also has sufficient examples to make learning easy. Plus, exercises are there to help you apply what you learn. By Mark Lutz, the book is perfect for someone who understands the fundamentals of the language and is now ready to learn its real-world applications.

Book at a glance:

  • Authors: Mark Lutz
  • Pages: 1652
  • Suitability: Inter and Advanced
  • Published in: 2011
  • Original language: English

10. Introduction to Machine Learning with Python: A Guide for Data Scientists

Introduction to Machine Learning with Python

Machine learning is one of the hot application prospects of Python, and ‘Introduction to Machine Learning with Python’ is all about that.

It introduces the reader to the machine learning aspect of the language by teaching the necessary machine learning algorithms. And then, it educates about the pros and cons of various machine learning algorithms.

The book also deals with other topics, such as data processing, model evaluation, pipelines, etc.

  • Authors: Andreas Muller
  • Pages: 392
  • Suitability: Inter and Advanced
  • Published in: 2016
  • Original language: English

Conclusion

Which is the Best Python Book? Well, there’s no definitive answer to the question. It varies from person to person, depending on factors like level of knowledge and purpose of learning. There is no scarcity of resources available, and you should spend some time choosing the right Python Books for yourself.

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