Best Python Book Reviews

Learning Python: Powerful Object-Oriented Programming Book Cover Learning Python: Powerful Object-Oriented Programming

This paperback reference is a practical learning guide that can be used as a stand-alone learning tool for any programmer wishing to pick up skills in Python programming language. For those who prefer to teach themselves, rather than enrolling in professor-led classroom instruction, this may well be the Best Python book to facilitate the learning experience.

Python is one of the programming world's most adaptable and flexible script languages, enabling users to keep ahead of the curve with rapid development. That's why major sites like YouTube and Google use it! With the help of this book, any programmer can start from scratch and be up to speed in no time.

  • For anyone seeking a thorough and comprehensive treatment of the programming language, this volume is undoubtedly among the best Python books, with more than twelve hundred pages of content.
  • The book is intended for an audience of beginning programmers, so it covers every aspect in detail. It does not skip over areas of knowledge that are presumed to be pre-existing understanding, but covers everything. For the new programmer, this attention to detail is critical in being able to understand the content. An experienced programmer, on the other hand, might prefer to skip sections that are not new material for them personally.

What Buyers Like About the Product

The author of this text has written many books on the subject of Python programming, ranging from pocket reference books to popularized introductions. This volume is a comprehensive treatment from one of the field's foremost experts.

  • This book works perfectly as a companion piece to the author's other Python books. Combined with "Learning Python" (which provides a great start for the newcomer to Python programming) and the Pocket Reference (a more mobile book for quick look-ups in the field), this set offers absolutely everything a programmer might need for instruction and reference.
  • The clarity of the writing makes this text an excellent tool for learning and improving programming knowledge and skill. The writing is conversational in its style, which makes for easy and comfortable reading that does not get bogged down in stilted or formal language.
  • The content of the book centers on Python Two, with the understanding that a person skilled in Python Two programming can then make the transition to Python Three. The reverse (Python 3 users trying to revert to Python2) turns out to be impractical.

What Buyers Don't Like About the Product

There's no denying the fact that this is a bulky volume. With one thousand and two hundred pages, the hardback book weighs close to four pounds. Unless a student is trying to lug it around in a shoulder bag, however, the size should not be an issue. After all, it is the size of the book that enables it to provide such comprehensive and detailed coverage.


A programmer looking to become an expert in Python programming could not do better than purchasing and reading this text, which rates among the best Python books.

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Python-Essential-Reference-4th-Edition Book Cover Python Essential Reference, 4th Edition

This Best Python book is an installment in the "Developer's Library" series published by Addison-Wesley Professional. The author has been programming with Python for more than fifteen years, and was instrumental in pioneering Python's integration with scientific software at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

He owns a company that offers consulting, training, and software development in several programming languages, and is an active member of the foundation for Python Software.


This book is a fully updated and partially re-written guide to using Python programming language, written by a man who knows the world of Python inside and out:

  • The author goes well beyond a simple "how-to" approach, and expands his instruction to include trade tricks and time savers, as well as productive coding habits and performance assessment.
  • At a whopping seven hundred pages, this book is nothing if not thorough. The author covers every aspect of Python that a programmer might need in learning the language, or in looking up a quick reference question.
  • The book includes useful graphics, charts, and pictorial references that enhance the written text.

What Buyers Like About the Product

A reader can quickly tell that this author knows Python like the back of his hand, and that he is very talented in his ability to share his knowledge with explanations that are easy to comprehend and incorporate.

  • This book offers much more than strict explanation or instruction. It includes historical and operational perspectives, discusses changes and improvements in the updates, looks ahead at upcoming changes, recommends approaches for profiling and debugging, and offers advice and notes along with the essential instructional modules.
  • This book is a comfortable read, and is well constructed for use as a quick reference tool. Not every textbook doubles in function as a reference book, but this text is among the best Python books for both functions. As one programmer put it: there are lots of books we might read on the topic Python programming, but only this one is going to have a permanent spot on the desk.

What Buyers Don't Like About the Product

Programmers who are looking to work with Python Three may be disappointed by this book's focus on Python 2.6. Version three is significantly different from its predecessors, and requires

instruction even for programmers who have experience with previous Python variations. The author has taken care to make the instruction as useful and relevant as possible; for example, he excludes discussion of elements that have been eliminated in Version Three.

No doubt the next edition will expand coverage to include Python 3; it must be said that this author has been diligent about keeping his editions up to date.


This text is one of the best Python books for programmers who want to keep a reference on hand; even the most experienced of programmers need reference materials, and this volume is designed for easy use as a look-up reference, as well as a solidly useful read.

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Python in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition Book Cover Python in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition

Decorated with an ink-sketch of the snake from which the programming language takes its name, this book presents useful summaries of everything Python-related. It is the most user-friendly reference for established Python programmers, not only covering aspects of Python itself, but also related topics and extensions. This book holds a place in programmers' hearts as one of the best Python books on the market—the most useful and the most applicable for day-to-day use.


This book was not written to teach the Python programming language to newcomers, but to enhance the performance and understanding of existing programmers:-

  • The writing is very crisp and concise, and the author has managed to compress a surprising amount of information into a relatively small volume (just over seven hundred pages). Seven hundred pages may not seem small, but when one comes to appreciate the depth and breadth of topics covered, it's nothing short of amazing that so much has been crammed in.
  • The primary area of content is the Python script language itself, but this book covers every related topic that a Python programmer might end up dealing with.
  • This second edition is not only updated to conform to the programming upgrades that are most current, but also expanded to include additional topics that did not appear in the first edition.

What Buyers Like About the Product

  • This book has been designed to be user-friendly in every aspect, ranging from the easy-on-the-eyes typeface to the thorough and well-organized content.
  • An index can make or break a reference book, and the index on this volume is well designed and comprehensive. It addresses every topic a programmer might wish to look up, and includes every key phrase that the programmer might use in trying to look up that topic. With cross-references and multiple listings for any given topic, this most important tool enables the reader to find any topic within seconds.
  • The book includes not only explanations of various topics, but also real-life and applicable examples. This volume is clearly designed to take programming issues out of the abstract and present them concretely, as they will be experienced in the field.
  • Fans of this book enjoy not only the clarity and the content, but the greatly enjoyable prose style of the author.

What Buyers Don't Like About the Product

Occasionally a new programmer will pick up this book, assuming from its title that it will provide the basics of instruction for Python. However, this book was not written to instruct newcomers, and is likely to prove confusing to anyone who doesn't already have the foundation of basic understanding. It is among the best Python books for improving existing skills and knowledge, but is unlikely to prove satisfactory as a beginning instruction manual.


This may be the Best Python book for reference, due to the wide array of topics and situations it addresses. Programmers can look for assistance on third-party additions and extensions, standard library materials, and Python-specific topics.

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Python Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science 2nd Edition book cover Python Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science 2nd Edition

When covering the field of computer programming and computer science, it is important to know that an author stays up to date. A book that has been edited can be trusted to republish when the topic warrants new information.

A book without subsequent editions should be looked at warily because its contents may be entirely out of date. John Zelle illustrates the point with his updated edition on his book about Python Programming, which has been expanded to include new material for Python 3.


This book is available in paperback form of more than five hundred pages, with the following features:

  • The instructional elements of the book focus on using Python 3. This is a complete shift from the first edition, which was written before Python 3 was released.
  • What makes this text ideal as a starting place is its combination of theoretical concepts of computer science, combined with specific teaching on how to program with Python.
  • The book isn't organized around an attempt to teach Python programming in a step by step fashion. Instead, it digs deeply into the concepts and theory, and covers those topics so thoroughly that you should be able to program using Python if you have read carefully enough. The in-depth approach makes this one of the best Python books.

What Buyers Like About the Product

New readers have often tried different approaches to getting started with script language, but they universally find that this is one of the best Python books to get started with. It takes a learner from zero knowledge to competency with the script language.

The clear and concise writing is a treat in a field where the knowledgeable people are not always the clear communicators. To have both characteristics delivered in a single book makes this text valuable and useful.

The book is intended to teach the reader their first computing language. Python is a script language perfect for beginners; it is clear and easy to understand, but also powerful in its capabilities.

Many readers appreciate the fact that this edition is practically a whole new book compared to the first edition. For anyone who thinks an updated edition is just a matter of changing a sentence or updating a fact here and there, this book is proof to the contrary. It covers a whole new release (Python 3) and great chunks of it were written from scratch for this edition.

What Buyers Don't Like About the Product

Readers who are already familiar with Python (or more advanced script languages) may find the pace of this text to be tedious. It was written for beginners—and is written well for those beginners—but may not be able to keep the interest of an advanced programmer.


This volume is the Best Python book for use as the main textbook in an introductory level college computing class. It is written for ease of understanding, and covers the topic thoroughly.

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The Quick Python Book, 2nd Edition Book Cover The Quick Python Book, 2nd Edition

This guide is written for people who aren't new to programming, but are new to the Python script language. The book uses the most recent version, Python 3, which itself has changed significantly from its first two iterations, but for a person who is starting with Python now, the confusion of those changes will be irrelevant.

This is actually the perfect time to pick up Python, given its drastic change and improvements in the third version; a newcomer now will not have to unlearn or re-learn habits and processes from the earlier versions.


This book is well written and does a solid job of introducing programming elements for Python code. All too often, the people who are experts with a program are not the people who are skilled at explaining for beginners, but this text is a happy exception, making it one of the best Python books for instruction.

  • The book begins with the basics, laying a solid foundation for more complex processes later on. The reader can begin by learning core concepts of data structures, control flow, and syntax.
  • Having grasped the foundational concepts, the reader moves on to more complicated applications like converting Python code from earlier versions, development for the web, programming with an object-oriented emphasis, and managing code.
  • The author does not waste space presenting explanations for beginners, because this book is targeted for an audience of programmers who already have existing expertise, and who specifically want to learn Python. Generalized concepts are treated concisely, assuming pre-existing knowledge on the part of the reader, while Python specific features are treated in a great deal more depth.

What Buyers Like About the Product

A practicing programmer, when looking to learn a new program, does not want their time wasted with lengthy explanations of concepts they already understand. This Best Python book hits precisely the right tone, offering in-depth direction and explanation where it is needed, but not getting bogged down in unnecessary explication of topics the reader already understands.

  • Given this author's skill with explanation, it will come as no surprise that he has been teaching programming for more than two decades. Clearly he has the knack for presenting knowledge for easy consumption.
  • Buyers who purchase a hard copy of this book are also provided with the text in a downloadable PDF version. For people who use tablet or e-readers, this digital alternative makes the book even more user-friendly.
  • Because the author doesn't spend chapters on common programming knowledge, focusing instead on Python, the book is a very manageable 320 pages long.

What Buyers Don't Like About the Product

Readers who are new to programming may not find this guide to be the best approach to learning Python 3. Because it assumes a level of pre-existing knowledge, it might be confusing to a newcomer. However, it is perfectly suited to knowledgeable programmers who want to add Python programming to their skill set.


This book ranks as one of the best Python books for experienced programmers looking to learn Python's script language.

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