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The Best Python Books, Part 2

Are you looking for good Python books? Look no further – I have some great ones for you. Here are 5 books that will boost your career and make you a better Python developer.

Some time ago, on the LearnPython.com blog, I wrote an article called “The Best Python Books.” The list included books about the basics of Python, data analysis, automation, and the Django framework.

It’s time for another batch of great Python books. Again, I have tried to include a wide variety of topics related to Python. I’m hopeful you will find something for yourself.

My choice of Python books is of course subjective, but fair. It is based on my own experience and advice from my fellow programmers. I have had every book on the list in my hand; otherwise, I wouldn’t recommend them to you.

For each book title, there is a link to its Amazon listing, making it easier for you to find a copy. But the fact that it is on Amazon has had no impact on the selection, nor do we receive any compensation from linking to the Amazon listings.

Each of these Python books is definitely worth a read and will help you gain new Python skills.

1.  “Python Crash Course, 2nd Edition: A Hands-On, Project-Based Introduction to Programming” by Eric Matthes

The Best Python Books, Part 2

The first one on my list is a great book by Eric Matthes called Python Crash Course. This is the 2nd edition.

The author is a high school science and math teacher living in Alaska. He has been programming and teaching Python to people for years. He also writes applications for supporting the learning processes on a daily basis, so the guy knows a thing or two about passing on knowledge.

The book gives the reader exactly what it promises in the title – a Python basics course. So, it's a good option for beginners, even for those who have never had anything to do with programming and are just starting their adventure. If you are a more advanced Python user, choose one of the Python books further down on my list.

If I were to point out the one best thing about this book, I'd say it's the huge number of real Python examples. For each topic, you'll find lines of code to help you understand and remember. Expect a good number of hands-on exercises that will require programming. As long as you follow the author's line of thinking, you should be able to understand most of the Python basics.

As with any Python book, there is a challenge. Even if you write code on your computer while holding the book in your hand, you still won't know if you're doing it right. Therefore, nothing can replace a good interactive course, where errors in the code are identified immediately.

Do you want to learn Python well? Start with Python Basics and consider the Python Crash Course book as an extension and complement to our course.

2.  “Effective Python: 90 Specific Ways to Write Better Python” by Brett Slatkin

The Best Python Books, Part 2

Another book I recommend is Effective Python: 90 Specific Ways to Write Better Python by Brett Slatkin. This guy is really good – he is a software engineer at Google and a co-creator of Google Surveys and the PubSubHubbub protocol. He has also worked on Google cloud solutions.

Why is this Python book worth a read? Rather than teaching Python syntax, it teaches true coding. I want to warn you right away – this should not be your first resource. Rather, it is for those who have already taken the first step into the world of Python, having learned the absolute basics and wanting to go further.

It may be the book you'll reach for after reading #1 on this list.

A very interesting book that helps you systematize your knowledge and check what you have learned so far. If you want to get a handle on a given topic, read the relevant chapter of this Python book.

Hardly anyone will read this book cover to cover in one go. Rather, it is a textbook you repeatedly come back to for specific things.

I don't know if all of the 90 Python ways in this book would be useful to you, but some of them definitely will make you write better Python code. It helps you avoid common mistakes often made by inexperienced developers.

3.  “Fluent Python: Clear, Concise, and Effective Programming” by Luciano Ramalho

The Best Python Books, Part 2

This Python book by Luciano Ramalho is for coders who are at least at the intermediate level. You won't find the basics of Python in it. You have to learn them first – for example, with the Learn Programming with Python track from LearnPython.com.

If you already have experience in writing Python code, read this book. It will help you upgrade your programming skills and take you to the next level.

The best thing about this Python book is that it is written by a Python practitioner. So, it has no unnecessary academic theory.

You will also see that the author not only is a Python expert but also knows other languages and sometimes refers to them. People who know Java or C++ will also find something for themselves.

The book is huge! Almost 800 pages. In its chapters, we find topics related to various uses of Python, from data analysis and data science to web development.

This is both an advantage and a disadvantage at the same time. As you deal with only a fragment of Python, you have a chance to see this brilliant language from a broader perspective. On the other hand, it is impossible to discuss each field and feature exhaustively and in sufficient depth. That would take several thousand pages.

Fluent Python is a solid Python book that should be on your shelf if you are serious about your career and skills. Don't let its enormity and complexity scare you. You should give it a look, and the time you spend reading it will pay off.

4.  “Python Data Science Handbook: Essential Tools for Working with Data” by Jake VanderPlas

The Best Python Books, Part 2

Do you deal with data science or dream of working in this field? This is the book for you.

Learn how to work effectively with data. The author, a researcher at the University of Washington, will help you understand the essence of data and enter the world of analysis and machine learning.

What will you find inside? The most important things, i.e., the description and methods of using the base Python libraries for data science: NumPy, Pandas, and Matplotlib.

Don’t know what they are? Read this article. It is actually the most important and, we should emphasize, actually useful knowledge.

The book also provides practical advice on writing code in shell or using the IDE – in this case, the Jupyter notebook. Do you want to use Jupyter in your projects? You can find the installation guide here. For other Python IDEs, see this article.

A couple of caveats: this is not a book for beginners or for people who like visuals and colors. My copy is printed in black and white, and some of the pictures and graphs are difficult to understand. It did not bother me personally, but my friend for example, who has also used it, was not convinced by this book.

5.  “Practical Python Programming for IoT: Build advanced IoT projects using a Raspberry Pi 4, MQTT, RESTful APIs, WebSockets, and Python 3” by Gary Smart

The Best Python Books, Part 2

Finally, something for complete geeks like me!

The Internet of Things is a concept that has been gaining popularity in recent years. Do you have a modern washing machine or fridge? Do you use a fit band or Alexa? These are the elements of the IoT. The devices are programmed so that they operate independently using the Internet.

What does this have to do with Python? A lot! Python, due to its enormous possibilities and functionality, is perfect for programming devices. This is one of 10 ideas for using Python we recently described on our blog.

The book is a list of interesting ideas for Python applications, mainly for programming my favorite Raspberry Pi.

You will learn how to create a home alarm system that gives you a signal when someone unwanted appears, or how to program a device that tells you when your cat wakes up. Maybe you want to create a portable weather station? The possibilities are endless, and Python will help you.

Are you bored with the usual coding for programming applications and services? Start programming robots and devices. Perhaps you can create an autonomous car or a drone. But learn Python well first. Let your imagination free and enter the world of the Internet of Things!

Learn Python, Read, Practice, Repeat!

This was another installment of my best Python books list. Each of these books is a step towards the world of possibilities with Python. It is really an extremely useful programming language.

Of course, there are many more good Python books on the market. With time, maybe I'll do another installment. I try not to recommend anything I have not read or had reviewed by someone I trust and believe in their programming skills. You can be confident the books in my articles will help you develop your Python skills.

If you've read anything interesting about Python, let me know in the comments!

I still stand by my opinion that even the best Python book cannot replace a good interactive Python course. Yes, a great book can be a good complement, but you will not get far without real code writing.

Are you looking for the right Python course for you? Wondering what the best online Python courses are? Pick one and start learning Python today!

Or are you still hesitating whether you should learn Python? Your time is valuable, and you may need to spend it learning a different programming language. Well ... of course, the final choice is yours, but before you make one, read 5 Reasons to Learn Python in 2021.

Python is one of the three most popular programming languages in the world. It is simple and easy to learn, even for people with no IT experience. Where does its popularity come from? Here are global companies that are taking advantage of its potential. If giants like them use it, maybe you should learn Python as well?

If that’s the case, you've come to the right place. LearnPython.com is the best place to start your programming adventure.

See you in class!

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