Python is a general-purpose interpreted programming language used for web development, machine learning, and complex data analysis. Python is a perfect language for beginners as it is easy to learn and understand.
Python programming opportunities are growing in parallel with the language’s popularity. Books can be a fantastic source of learning if you want to learn Python programming. The ability to learn at your own pace is provided by books.
Here are the top 15 Python books for beginners and advanced programmers recommended by the Python community. These books help programmers of all skill levels, from amateurs to code wizards. The list also includes a few free Python books for beginners.
1. Python Crash Course, 2nd Edition: A Hands-On, Project-Based Introduction to Programming
Python Crash Course teaches you the fundamentals of Python. The book is divided into two sections: the first covers the essentials of Python programming, such as lists, dictionaries, classes, and loops, while the second helps you practice writing clean code. In the second section, you’ll construct three projects: a Space Invaders arcade game, a set of data visualizations, and a small web application. As you move through the book, you’ll learn how to use Pygame, Matplotlib, Plotly, and Django.
The book’s 544 pages are divided into two sections. The first section of the book covers Python programming fundamentals, including dictionaries, lists, loops, and classes. The book’s second half takes a more practical approach.
2. Automating Boring Stuff with Python
When I first started learning Python a number of years ago, I read this book alongside Head First Python. Since then, this has been my go-to Python book. I started learning Python to automate a few tasks, and the title piqued my interest; however, I was not disappointed because the book lived up to its name.
It will straightway teach you all practical stuff like sending an email notification, reading files, appending into XLS, scrapping data on the web, and automating trivial things using Python without you spending days and night learning sorting algorithms, object-oriented programming, and all kinds of computer science stuff.
If you are someone who learns by doing real things, then this book is for you. Another great thing is that author Al Sweigart has also created an online course on Udemy with the same title “Automate the Boring Stuff with Python Programming,” so if you want to listen to him for more active learning you can also join that course along with reading this book.
3. Learn Python 3 The Hard Way, by Zed A. Shaw
Many people, including myself, will offer “Learn Python The Hard Way, by Zed A. Shaw” if you ask for a Python book for beginners. As Jason mentioned in the comments, there is now a new version of this called “Learn Python 3 The Hard Way,” which is more relevant now that Python 2.7 is being phased out and Python 3 is taking its place.
This was one of the books which were suggested to me by my Python buddy, but I didn’t get a chance to look because I was more hooked with the “Automating Boring Stuff with Python” and “Head First Python” book. I did read it later and learned a lot from it as it fills many gaps in my learning.
Reading books by a variety of authors will also help you understand the concept better because some authors describe one issue better than others. If you enjoy Zed Shaw’s method of learning the hard way, you will enjoy this book. To get the most of both worlds, I recommend pairing this with this Python Programming MasterClass.
4. Learning Python, 5th Edition
Based on his training course, the book’s author, Mark Lutz, provides a full, in-depth introduction to the basic Python language. The most recent edition of the book encourages you to build high-quality, efficient code. This is also one of the best Python books available. This book is for everyone who wants to learn Python and succeed at it; it may be read and practiced by anyone, from beginners to seasoned developers. You’ll learn about the major built-in object types in Python, including numbers, lists, and dictionaries. You’ll also learn how to structure statements and repetition in code. By delving into classes, the book also introduces you to OOPs ideas in Python.
Finally, general programming concepts like exception handling, and development tools are also covered in this book. The book also covers Python tools such as decorators, descriptors, metaclasses, and Unicode processing for advanced readers and programmers.
5. Learn Python Quickly: A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Learning Python, Even If You’re New to Programming
Learn Python Quickly: A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Learning Python, Even If You’re New to Programming is an excellent pick for beginners. Python, as one of the most widely used programming languages, is a language that many individuals from all areas of life aspire to master. As a result, Code Quickly has published a book aimed at complete beginners.
In this book, you can establish solid foundational knowledge in Python. Once you’ve gotten past the fundamentals, you can then move on to some of the more intermediate and advanced topics. There’s no need to feel intimidated — thankfully, the book is written in a clear way where there are simple explanations provided so you can follow along more easily.
Learn Python Quickly: A Complete Beginner’s Guide Python also comes with coding challenges (along with their solutions, so you may double-check your work). There are two Python projects at the conclusion of the book that you can complete to bring all of the things you’ve learned together and give you some hands-on experience. There are also some source code files that you can refer to on a regular basis. These files can be run on your own PC.
6. Python Cookbook: Recipes for Mastering Python 3
Another book for advanced Python programmers who want to learn about recent Python development tools is this one. There are tutorials there on the most common programming tasks. Among the topics covered in the book are data encoding, data structures, algorithms, meta-programming, concurrency, network, web programming, testing, and exceptions. The recipes in the book are based on the assumption that you have the necessary knowledge to comprehend the topics discussed in the book. Each recipe contains a snippet of code that the reader can use in their own projects. A discussion of how the code works and why the solution works follows the code.
7. Best Book for Job Interview Prep: Elements of Programming Interviews in Python: The Insiders’ Guide
The book provides you with a set of 250 problems to put your Python skills to the test. The issues are typical of interview questions asked at top software firms. 200 illustrations, 300 tested programs, and 150 extra variants are used to show the challenges, which are then followed by thorough answers. The book also includes a summary of the non-technical components of interviewing, as well as advice for negotiating the best offer and using EPI effectively. To refresh your understanding, a summary of data structures and algorithms is also provided.
8. Learning with Python: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist
‘Learning with Python’ by Allen Downey, Jeff Elkner, and Chris Meyers is an introduction to Python programming and using the language to create excellent real-world programs. The book is divided into 20 sections and includes a contributors list as well as a roadmap for the future. The first few sections go through the fundamentals of programming and what comprises a program. The course then focuses on to fundamental Python concepts including variables, functions, conditionals, fruitful functions, and iteration. Objects, inheritance, lists, stacks, queues, trees, and debugging are all discussed near the end of the book.
The book is available for free in a variety of formats, which include PDF, Postscript, Gzipped Rar, and HTML. Users are free to download and print these files as the book has a license under the GNU Free Documentation License. The book translated into other languages such as Spanish, Italian, German, and Czech, is available for download.
9. Head First Python: A Brain-Friendly Guide, by Paul Barry
This is, after all, the book that taught me Python. I’m a great admirer of the Head First series of books, and I’ve read most of their best-sellers, including Head First Java and Head First Design Pattern. I like how they make learning enjoyable.
Their unique style not only encourages you to read the book for a long time without getting bored but also pushes you to do stuff along the way.
This work and fun model also helps you to retain the knowledge. When it comes to the subject matter, the book is great for beginners but not as practical as the “Python Crash Course” or “Automating Boring Stuff with Python” book, but it still is a very good book to start learning Python.
10. Introduction to Machine Learning with Python: A Guide for Data Scientists
Machine learning has become a vital part of many commercial applications and initiatives, and the number of these applications has only grown over time. This book by Sarah Guido and Andreas C. Muller shows you how to create machine learning solutions using the Python programming language. Machine learning applications are only limited by our creativity as the amount of data used grows by the second.
Throughout this book, you’ll learn how to use Python and the sci-kit-learn library to develop a comprehensive machine-learning application. Before moving on to the advantages and cons of common machine learning algorithms, the book exposes you to the fundamental concepts and applications of machine learning. Advanced approaches for model evaluation are also covered, as well as the concept of pipelines for encapsulating your workflow and chaining models. Finally, the book offers advice on how to develop your data science abilities.
11. Best Advanced Python Book: Fluent Python: Clear, Concise, and Effective Programming
‘Fluent Python’ by Luciano Ramalho is a hands-on guide that helps you learn how to write useful Python code by using the most neglected yet best features of the language. The author takes you through the features and libraries of the language and helps you make the code shorter, faster, and readable.
Python data models, data structures, functions as objects, object-oriented idioms, control flow, and metaprogramming are among the topics covered in the book. Advanced Python programmers will learn about Python 3 and how to become proficient in this version of the language with the help of this book. The author is Luciano Ramalho, a Web Developer who has used Python to work with some of Brazil’s most important news portals and runs his own Python teaching company.
12. Python Cookbook: Recipes for Mastering Python 3
‘Python Cookbook’ by David Beazley and Brian K. Jones helps you master your programming skills in Python 3 or help you update older Python 2 code. This cookbook is filled with recipes tried and tested with Python 3.3 is the ticket for experienced Python programmers who wish to take the approach to modern tools and idioms rather than just standard coding. The book has complete recipes for a variety of topics, covering Python language and its uses, along with tasks common to a large number of application domains.
Strings, data structures, iterators, functions, classes, modules, packages, concurrency, testing, debugging, and exceptions are just a few of the subjects addressed in the book. The above-mentioned recipes assume that you have the essential expertise to understand the topics covered in the book. Each recipe includes a sample code that can be used in the reader’s own projects. The code is followed by a discussion of how the code works and why the solution works.
13. Best Book for Practical Learning: Learn Python the Hard Way (3rd Edition)
‘Learn Python 3 the Hard Way‘ by Zed A. Shaw is a collection of 52 brilliantly crafted exercises. The book is perfect for total beginners who have not coded before, junior developers, and professionals who need to brush up their skills. The book requires you to learn practical coding by practicing exercises and fixing problems to understand the problems better. The author even shows you how to break, fix, and debug your code to give you the coding flavor.
Basic mathematics, variables, strings, files, loops, program architecture, and data structures are just a few of the topics covered in the book. Learning Python through exercises allows you to gain a better understanding of how the software works, the structure of a well-written program, and how to avoid and detect typical programming errors utilizing certain methods that skilled programmers have up their sleeves.
14. Python for Beginners: Learn Python Programming With No Coding Experience in 7 Days
If you’ve never written a single line of code before, the notion of learning to do so can be terrifying. Fortunately, Santos Ozoemena’s book Python for Beginners: Learn Python Programming with No Coding Experience in 7 Days is a fantastic place to start.
The book was written for those who want to be part of the programming world or find a career as a programmer. With the knowledge that Python is one of the easiest (and most popular) programming languages out there, Santos Ozoemena aims to provide the right guidance to make learning Python a “walk in the park.”
Ozoemena’s book ambitiously aims to teach students how to master Python within only one week. To help make learning easier, the book guides learners step by step through all the concepts and processes of coding in Python.
15. Learn Python in One Day and Learn It Well (2nd Edition)
Learn Python in One Day and Learn It Well by Jamie Chan is now in its second edition, with the addition of lessons in object-oriented programming. It was written for the absolute beginners who have literally no knowledge of Python whatsoever. The aim is to help students learn Python fast enough that they can start coding the basics in one day.
This book lays down complex ideas into easy-to-understand steps that even novices can follow. There are carefully picked examples to help illustrate Python-related ideas, which will make things easier for you to understand. Topics are also carefully chosen, ensuring that learning proceeds in a reasonably straight fashion without deviating into confusing tangents.
Jamie Chan knows that the best way to learn is to do, and that philosophy is applied to this book as well. At the end of Learn Python in One Day and Learn It Well, there is a project that learners can do that involves all the concepts that were previously learned from the book.
The beauty of Python is that you don’t have to learn hundreds of lines of code to develop simple programs. Much of it can be written in a succinct manner, making it simple to learn and comprehend. The Python books listed above are excellent for beginners. They provide a quick summary of the language’s features and functions. Simple algorithms and realistic examples are used by the authors to help you learn the topics quickly. I hope this article aids you in your search for the greatest Python book.
If you are an advanced Python learner you might want to try out the book Crash Course in Python to brush up your skills.
Have you read some of the books already? Which book did you find the most helpful? Would you like to recommend any other book? Let us know in the comments
Frequently Asked Questions
- Which is the best book for Python beginners?
If you’re just starting out with Python, the section on the best Python books for beginners can help you find the right one for you. However, we can also recommend Python Crash Course as an ideal Python book for beginners thanks to the way it handles everything, from the fundamentals to the more complex topics.
- Which one is the best book for Python?
The answer to this question really depends on your goals for learning Python. If you just want to learn it from scratch and go into an eventual career in web development, you can look into Head-First Python (2nd Edition).
If you would like to eventually move into artificial intelligence and machine learning, consider Introduction to Machine Learning with Python: A Guide for Data Scientists.
And if you would like to test your knowledge or prepare for job interviews, you can try Elements of Programming Interviews in Python: The Insiders’ Guide or Learn Python the Hard Way.
- Can you learn Python from a book?
Absolutely, yes! However, one problem you might find yourself running into if you are learning from a book is that it may not suit your learning style. If you prefer learning from a video or from someone showing you what to do, you may prefer a video-style course instead.
- Can I learn Python as a beginner?
Python is the most beginner-friendly language out there.
- What is the best free Python book?
A Byte of Python is certainly a contender for the best book for learning Python, at least when it comes to free books. It is translated into more than 26 languages, making it more accessible to people worldwide.
- Is Python hard?
In terms of syntax, Python is simple to learn, but complex to understand as a concept. But, if you are just starting out, Python should be your first choice.