Best Python Books for Beginners & Advanced Programmers

Best Python Books for Beginners and Advanced Programmers

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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. As the popularity of the language is soaring, the opportunities in Python programming are amplifying as well. If you wish to learn Python programming, there are plenty of books available in the market. Books provide you the ability to learn at your on time even if you are on the go and they go really in detail. We bring to you a list of 10 best Python books for beginners and advanced programmers. These books will help programmers of all skill levels, from amateurs to code wizards. The list also includes a few free Python books for beginners.

Best Python Books for Beginners

Python Crash Course

‘Python Crash Course’ by Eric Matthews is a fast-paced and comprehensive introduction to Python language for beginners, who wish to learn Python programming and write useful programs. The book aims to get you up to speed fast enough and have you writing real programs in no time at all. This book is also for programmers who have a vague understanding of the language and wish to brush up their knowledge before trying their hands on Python programming. As you work through the book, you will learn the use of libraries and tools such as Numpy and matplotlib and work with data to create stunning visualizations. You will also learn about the idea behind 2d games and Web applications and how to create them.

This 560 pages long book is majorly dissected into two parts. The first part of the book discusses the basics of Python programming and sheds lights on concepts such as dictionaries, lists, loops, and classes. You will understand the working of a Python program and learn how to write clean and readable code which creates interactive programs. The part ends with the topic of how to test your code before you add it to a project. The second part of the book follows a practical approach and will help you test your knowledge by presenting three different projects, an arcade game, a simple web application and data visualizations using Python’s libraries.

You can buy the book here.

Head-First Python (2nd edition)

‘Head-First Python’ by Paul Barry is a quick and easy fix for you if you wish to learn the basics of Python programming without having to slog through counterproductive tutorials and books. The book will help you in gaining a quick grasp of the fundamentals of Python programming and working with built-in functions and data structures. The book then moves to help you build your own web application, exception handling, data wrangling, and other concepts. Head first Python makes use of a visual format rather than a text-based approach, helping you to see and learn better.

The author is Paul Barry, a lecturer at the Institute of Technology, Carlow, Ireland. Before entering the academic world, he worked for over a decade in the IT industry. He is the author of certain well-known programming books, such as Programming the Network with Perl, Head First Programming and Head First Python.

You can buy the book here

Learn Python the Hard Way (3rd Edition)

‘Learn Python the Hard Way’ by Zed A. Shaw (3rd Edition) is a collection of 52 perfectly collated exercises. You will have to read the code and type it precisely. Once typed, you will have to fix the mistakes in the code for a better understanding and watch the programs run. These exercises will help you understand the working of software, structure of a well-written program and how to avoid and find common mistakes in code using some tricks that professional programmers have up their sleeves.

The book begins it all by helping you install a complete Python environment, which helps you in writing optimized code. The book then discusses various topics, such as basic mathematics, variables, strings, files, loops, program design, and data structures among many others. The book is ideal for beginners who wish to learn Python programming through the crux of the language. The author is Zed A. Shaw, who is the creator of the Hard Way series which includes books on C, Python and Ruby programming language.

You can buy the book here

Python Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science (3rd Edition)

‘Python Programming’ by John Zelle is the third edition of the original Python programming book published in 2004, the second edition of which was released in 2010. Instead of treating this book as a source to Python programming, it should be taken as an introduction to the art of programming. This book will introduce you to computer science, programming, and other concepts, only using Python language as the medium for beginners. The book will discuss its contents in a style that is most suitable for beginners, who will find the concepts in the book easy to understand and interesting.

The third edition of this extremely successful book follows the path paved by the first edition and continues to test students through a time-tested approach while teaching introductory computer science. The most notable change in this edition is the removal of nearly every use of python eval() library and the addition of a section which discusses its negatives. The latest version also uses new graphic examples.

You can buy the book here

Free Python Books for Beginners

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 wonderful real-world programs. The book is divided into 20 sections and also includes a contributors list and a way forward. The initial sections discuss the basics of programming and what makes up a program. Then it moves on to basic Python concepts such as variables, functions, conditionals, fruitful functions and iteration. Towards the end, the book discusses the core concepts such as objects, inheritance, lists, stacks, queues, trees and debugging.

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 is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. The book has also been translated in Spanish, Italian, German and Czech, and available for download.

You can download the book for free here

A Byte of Python

‘A Byte of Python’ by C.H. Swaroop is a free book on Python programming with an aim to guide the beginner audience to an understanding of the Python language. The book will discuss the Python 3 version majorly, but will also help you adapt to the older versions of the language. The book is available in over 26 languages including Turkish, Swedish, French, Chinese, German, Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian, Portuguese and Korean. The translations have been provided by active community members who vigorously work to keep the edits going on as the book is updated.

The book initiates its approach with an introduction to what the book is about and what it demands from the readers concerning dedication. Then it describes Python and how it has emerged as one of the most powerful languages in the programming world. It then moves on to Python concepts and describes them in detail along with examples at every step. It culminates with how you can continue learning Python after reading this book and leaves you with a problem to solve, testing your skills even at the last step.

You can download the book for free here

Best Python Books Advanced Programmers

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

Many commercial applications and projects have employed machine learning as an integral ingredient, and the number of applications doing so has only risen over the years. This book by Sarah Guido and Andreas C. Muller will teach you how to use Python programming language to build your own machine learning solutions. As the amount of data usage increases with the second, the limitation to machine learning applications is only our imagination.

Throughout the course of this book, you will learn about the steps required to create a rich machine-learning application using Python and scikit-learn library. The book will introduce you to the fundamental concepts and uses of machine learning, before moving on to the pros and cons of popular machine learning algorithms. You will then learn about the advanced methods for model evaluation and the concept of pipelines, which is used for encapsulating your workflow and chaining models. In conclusion, the book will provide suggestions to help you improve your data science skills.

You can buy the book here

Fluent Python: Clear, Concise, and Effective Programming

‘Fluent Python’ by Luciano Ramalho will be your hands-on-guide that will help you learn how to write effective Python code by using the most neglected yet best features of the language. The author will take you through the features and libraries of the language, and will help you make the code shorter, faster and readable.

The book covers various concepts including python data model, data structures, functions as objects, object-oriented idioms, control flow, and metaprogramming. Using this book, advanced Python programmers will learn about Python 3 and how to become proficient in this version of the language. The author is Luciano Ramalho, a Web Developer who has worked with some of the largest news portals in Brazil using Python and has his own Python training company.

You can buy the book here

Python Cookbook: Recipes for Mastering Python 3

‘Python Cookbook’ by David Beazley and Brian K. Jones will help 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.

Some of the topics covered in the book are but not limited to strings, data structures, iterators, functions, classes, modules, packages, concurrency, testing, debugging and exceptions. Throughout the book, the recipes mentioned above will presuppose that you have the necessary knowledge to understand the topics in the book. Each recipe contains sample code the reader can use in their projects. The code is followed by a discussion about the working of the code and why the solution works.

You can buy the book here

Programming Python: Powerful Object-Oriented Programming

‘Programming Python’ by Mark Lutz is ideal for programmers who have understood the fundamentals of Python programming and ready to learn how to use their skills to get real work done. This book includes in-depth tutorials on various application domains of Python, such as GUIs, the Web and system administration. The book will also discuss how the language is used in databases, text processing, front-end scripting layers, networking and much more.

The book will explain the commonly used tools, language syntax, and programming techniques through a brief yet clear approach. The book is filled with many examples that show the correct usage and common idioms. The book also digs into the language as a software development tool, along with multiple examples illustrated particularly for that purpose.

You can buy the book here

If you are looking for online Python tutorials or courses, then has a great list of community-curated and recommended top Python tutorials: Python tutorials and courses

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26 Comments, RSS

  1. Avatar

    Bryan Ray December 19, 2018 @ 11:49 am

    What is the most efficient and up to date book for learning Python?

    • Avatar

      Ernesto Carson January 3, 2019 @ 12:19 am

      Python is easy to understand and most famous programming language used for web development. If you are a beginner and want to learn Python, you may prefer the online materials available for learning. In this article also, there are top 10 best python books mentioned for beginners as well as advanced level of learning. Follow this article and start your programming journey with Python. All the best!

  2. Avatar

    Sally Poole December 19, 2018 @ 11:50 am

    Which Python book do you recommend for data science?

    • Avatar

      Kevin Copeland January 3, 2019 @ 12:20 am

      There are many libraries and techniques to analyze data in python but even experts don’t have it all figured out. For aspiring data scientists, these books explain everything about the basics to advance.
      Introduction to Machine Learning with Python: A Guide for Data Scientists- This book explains you that which steps are required to create a rich learning application in Python.
      Python for Data Analysis- This book by Wes Mckinney is the tour of Pandas, Matplotlib, Numpy for the data scientists looking to crunch data using Python.

  3. Avatar

    Alberto Murray December 19, 2018 @ 11:51 am

    Which is the best book for learning python for absolute beginners on their own?

    • Avatar

      Melvin Hansen January 3, 2019 @ 12:21 am

      There are many ways to start learning python on your own as a beginner. This blog already covers many good books for beginners to learn Python. You can choose the one that you like the most.

  4. Avatar

    Leona Mitchell December 19, 2018 @ 11:51 am

    What are the best Python books to learn after finishing the Python Crash Course?

    • Avatar

      Simon Wong January 3, 2019 @ 12:22 am

      When you complete with the beginners part, there are plenty of books available. So you have to decide that which is best for you. This is the list of books through which you may start learning the Python at advance level-
      • Problem Solving with Algorithms and Data Structures using Python
      • Python 3 Object Oriented programming
      • Effective Python: 59 Specific Ways to Write Better Python
      • Python Cookbook, Third Edition
      • Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software

  5. Avatar

    Maurice Cohen December 19, 2018 @ 11:52 am

    What is the best Python book for machine learning which covers TensorFlow too?

    • Avatar

      Javier Gill January 3, 2019 @ 12:23 am

      The O’Reilly’s book ‘Hands-On Machine Learning with Scikit-Learn & TensorFlow’ by Aurelien Geron is the best recommendation for machine learning with the topic covered of TensorFlow. In this book you will learn a range of techniques, starting with simple linear regression and progressing to deep neural networks.

  6. Avatar

    Moses Owens December 19, 2018 @ 11:52 am

    Which Python book do you suggest to learn basic game development (collision detection, path finding, sprites, map building, etc.)?

    • Avatar

      Karla Bradley January 3, 2019 @ 12:23 am

      If you are crazy about games development and you want to learn game development in Python then there are various ways to learn basic to advance game development with Python. Pygame module is used to develop a game in Python language. Game development is a massive field and if you want to learn this easily then use Python’s Pygame module.

  7. Avatar

    Van Jensen December 19, 2018 @ 11:53 am

    Which are some of the best Python books an advanced level?

    • Avatar

      Ernestine Francis January 3, 2019 @ 12:24 am

      Below are the best python books for an advance level python programmer.
      Python Cookbook: Recipes for Mastering Python 3- This book will help you to master your programming in Python 2 and update your Python 2. In this book each recipes have the sample code for reader to learn Python skills practically.
      Introduction to machine learning with Python: A guide for Data Scientists- This book explains the fundamental concept and use of machine learning. This book is for Data Scientists and Advance Python programmers.
      Fluent Python: Clear, Concise, and Effective programming- This book contains everything about Python 3 and teaches you that how to become proficient in Python 3.
      Programming Python: Powerful Object-Oriented Programming- The best part of this book is that this is filled with multiple examples that show the correct usage and common idioms.

  8. Avatar

    Alvin Phillips December 19, 2018 @ 11:54 am

    What is the best Python programming book with lots of exercise and interesting projects?

    • Avatar

      Belinda Fitzgerald January 3, 2019 @ 12:25 am

      The best way to master the art of programming is the practice of coding only. For this you can take help from the online resources and books available. Some of them are-
      Fluent Python: Clear, Concise, and Effective programming- So many examples and sample programs are given in this book.
      Python Crash Course- This book gives you the practical knowledge and test your programming skills.
      Learn Python the Hard Way- This book has 52 practically explained exercises which will help you to fix the mistakes and to understand the structure of a well written program.

  9. Avatar

    Rosemarie Jimenez December 19, 2018 @ 11:54 am

    What are good Python socket programming books to learn from?

    • Avatar

      Irene Moreno January 3, 2019 @ 12:25 am

      Socket programming in Python is the way of connecting two nodes on a network so that they both can communicate with each other. These are some good books collection for Python socket programming:
      • Learning Python Networking Programming
      • Python Networking Programming Cookbook
      • Foundations of Python Networking Programming
      • Twisted Network Programming

  10. Avatar

    Catherine Ramos December 19, 2018 @ 11:55 am

    What are the best resources for learning how to use Python for Machine Learning/Data Science?

    • Avatar

      Gloria Lawrence January 3, 2019 @ 12:26 am

      The best way to learn is to work on projects. Instead of that you may take reference from these below books.
      Introduction to machine learning with Python: A guide for Data Scientists- This book explains the fundamental concept and use of machine learning. This book is for Data Scientists and Advance Python programmers.
      Python for Data Analysis- This book by Wes Mckinney is a practical and modern approach in Python for data-intensive applications.

  11. Avatar

    mazz February 18, 2019 @ 5:14 pm

    Head-First Python (2nd edition) is definitely not for beginner
    read where it say (who this book for) it say: we assume you have programmed before.

    how that works out to be for beginner 😀

  12. Avatar

    bdevils464 March 9, 2019 @ 5:07 pm

    Thanks for the super Content and More Information Python Training Provides to me.

  13. Avatar

    Ashfakur Rahman May 15, 2019 @ 11:48 pm

    That was an amazing and helpful article

  14. Avatar

    David July 9, 2019 @ 10:20 pm

    This is a great list and provides lots of choices. Of the recommended books, is there one in particular that is best for working with text? I’m interested in trying to write something along the lines of the work being done at the Stanford Literary Lab.

    Thanks again for the post.


  15. Avatar

    David Clarke July 9, 2019 @ 10:25 pm

    As someone that has read several of the books here, if you Python is your first language or this is your first work with Python but you know another language, I would recommend Python Crash Course, 2nd edition. It addresses your issue of being update, (new edition published in 2019) and the author and editor are both very conscientious about responding to readers. The only slight I have with the book, and it’s a timing issue, is that they don’t recommend using Visual Source Code as an editor. Their recommendation, Sublime Text 3 is perfectly adequate, but especially when learning Python, the intellisense features of the VSC editor are tremendous.

  16. Avatar

    sakshi September 30, 2019 @ 12:54 pm

    I love your blog. This all provided knowledge are unique than other python blog.
    good explain, keep updating