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Best Python Books for Beginners & Advanced Programmers

Posted in Python, Books
Best Python Books

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. If you wish to learn Python programming, books can be a great source of learning. Books provide you with the ability to learn at your on time even if you are on the go and they go really in detail. Here are the top 10 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.

Best Python Books for Beginners

1. Python Crash Course

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 learn libraries and tools such as Pygame, Matplotlib, Plotly, and Django and work with data to create interactive visualizations. You also know about the idea behind 2D games, to develop and deploy web applications. It is one of the best books to learn Python suggested by Python Programmers.

This 544 pages long book majorly dissects into two parts. The first part of the book discusses Python programming basics and sheds light on concepts such as dictionaries, lists, loops, and classes. You understand working a Python program and learn to write clean and readable code and create interactive programs. The part ends with teaching to test your code before you add it to a project. The second half of the book follows a practical approach. It tests your knowledge by presenting three different projects:

  • Space Invaders-inspired arcade game.
  • A set of data visualizations with Python's handy libraries.
  • A simple web app you can deploy online.

You can buy the book here.

2. Automate the Boring Stuff with Python, 2nd Edition: Practical Programming for Total Beginners

Automate the Boring Stuff with Python, 2nd EditionIt is one of the best international selling Python books that teaches Python 3 to everyone, including technically inclined beginners and liberal art majors, and geeks alike. The books give you step-by-step instructions and walk you through each program, teaching you to write programs quickly and efficiently in Python. The author, AI Sweigart, also challenges his readers with updated practice projects at the end of each chapter.

You will learn Python's basics and explore rich library modules for performing tasks like scraping data of websites, reading PDF and word documents, and automating clicking and typing tasks. The second edition of the book includes an additional brand-new chapter on input validation and tutorials on automating Gmail and Google Sheets, plus tips on automatically updating CSV files.

Apart from the new chapter,  you also learn to create programs that effortlessly perform good feats of automation to search for text in a file or across multiple files, create, update, move, and rename files and folders, search the web and download online content, update and format data in Excel spreadsheets of any size, fill out online forms and more. 

You can buy the book here.


3. Learning Python, 5th Edition

Learning PythonThe author of the book, Mark Lutz, gives a comprehensive, in-depth introduction to the core Python language based on his training course. The latest version of the book encourages you to write efficient, high-quality code. This is also the best books to learn python. The book is for everyone who wants to learn and excel in Python; from beginners to professional developers, anyone can read and practice this book. You will explore Python’s major built-in object types, such as numbers, lists, and dictionaries. You will also learn code redundancy, organize statements. The book also introduces you to OOPs concepts in Python by diving into classes. 

Finally, general programming concepts like exception handling, 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. 

You can buy the book here.


4. Head-First Python (2nd edition)

‘Head-First Python’ by Paul Barry is the best book to learn python, 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 helps 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 web application, exception handling, data wrangling, and other concepts. The 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 individual well-known programming books, such as Programming the Network with Perl, Head First Programming, and Head First Python.

You can buy the book here.

5. Elements of Programming Interviews in Python: The Insiders' Guide 

Elements of Programming Interviews in PythonThe book challenges you with a collection of 250 problems to test your Python skills. The problems are representative of interview questions that are asked at leading software companies. The problems are illustrated with 200 figures, 300tested programs, and 150 additional variants followed by detailed solutions. The book further mentions a summary of the non-technical aspects of interviewing tips on negotiating the best offer and guiding the best way to use EPI. Summary of data structures, algorithms are also provided to brush up your knowledge. 

The book is designed in a series of chapters on basic and advanced data structures. Each chapter starts with a brief introduction, case study, top tips, and a review of the essential library methods, finally followed by broad and thought-provoking problems. 

You can buy the book here.

Free Python Books for Beginners

6. 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 divides 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 has a license under the GNU Free Documentation License. The book translated in other languages such as Spanish, Italian, German and Czech, is available for download.

You can download the book for free here

7. A Byte of Python

‘A Byte of Python’ by C.H. Swaroop is a free best books on Python programming to guide the beginner audience to an understanding of the Python language. The book mainly discusses the Python 3 version but can assist you in adapting 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 with an introduction to what the book is about. It also considers the demands of the readers concerning dedication. Then it describes Python and how it has emerged as one of the most influential 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 Programming Books for Advanced Programmers

8. 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 teaches you how to use Python programming language to build your machine learning solutions. As the amount of data usage increases with the second, the limitation to machine learning applications is only our imagination.

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

You can buy the book here

You can buy the book here.

9. Fluent Python: Clear, Concise, and Effective Programming

‘Fluent Python’ by Luciano Ramalho is your 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.

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 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 most significant news portals in Brazil using Python and has his own Python training company.

You can buy the book here.

10. 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.

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 presuppose that you have the necessary knowledge to understand the topics in the book. Each recipe contains a sample code the reader can use in their projects. The code follows a discussion about the working of the code and why the solution works.

You can buy the book here.

Bonus Python Books

1. 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 also discusses how the databases use the language, text processing, front-end scripting layers, networking, and much more.

The book explains the commonly used tools, language syntax, and programming techniques through a brief yet precise approach. The book has 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.

2. 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 other returning professional or experienced professionals who need to brush by their skills. The book requires you to learn by 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. 

The book further discusses various topics such as basic mathematics, variables, strings, files, loops, program design, and data structures, among many others. Learning Python by doing exercises helps understand the software's working, the 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.

You can buy the book here.

Best Python Books for Kids

1. Python for Kids

Python for Kids Author: Jason R. Briggs
Age: 10+

Despite the title, the fun book for all ages. The provides a clear, easy to follow, introduction to python programming. The content is easy to understand, the examples are clearly illustrated and straightforward. The book provides a detailed guide to install python to the system followed by using Python Shell as a simple calculator. The book is a solid guide for getting a good foundation in the basics.

It majorly covers:

  • Variables
  • Arithmetic Operators
  • String
  • Lists
  • Tuples
  • Dictionaries
  • Turtle Library
  • Conditional Statements
  • Loops
  • Functions
  • Modules and More

You can buy the book here.

2. Coding Projects in Python

Coding Projects in PythonAuthor: DK
Age: 9 -12

The books intrigue all the kids to build software whether they have learned block language like Scratch or have done no programming at all. The grocery reference section at the back of the book is very helpful for kids to learn and study even for their future projects

It teaches the following:

  • Downloading and installing the python
  • Writing and Saving Programs

You can buy the book here.

3. Python in Easy Steps

Python in Easy StepsAuthor: Mike McGrath

Age: Middle School and Up

The author has done a fantastic job by presenting coding concepts in small, comprehensible chunks. It is not exactly for children but middle school students with some experience in a language like scratch would enjoy learning from it and understand it well.

You can buy the book here.


That wraps our article on the best Books for Python. It is hard to say which one is the best Python book as it entirely depends on your choice. Maybe you could try free books at first if you are a beginner to see if the language keeps you interested to learn. If you are an advanced Python learner you might want to try out the book Crash Course in Python to brush up your skills. If you want some detailed guidance you could also be considering learning online from some best Python tutorials. 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.

Books are good but if you are looking for an online Python course, then Complete Python Bootcamp on udemy is a great course to begin learning Python.

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Sagar Bhatia

Sagar Bhatia

Sagar is an engineering graduate and a technology lover and has been writing across various disciplines for over 5 years now. An avid gamer himself, he wishes to create a venture revolving around the e-sports domain in India. View all posts by the Author

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Aqsa Zafar
Aqsa Zafar

Great Article


I like it very much. I have a good experience with this. I feel happy.


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

David Clarke
David Clarke

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.


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.


Ashfakur Rahman
Ashfakur Rahman

That was an amazing and helpful article


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


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 :D

Catherine Ramos
Catherine Ramos

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

Gloria Lawrence
Gloria Lawrence

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.

Rosemarie Jimenez
Rosemarie Jimenez

What are good Python socket programming books to learn from?

Irene Moreno
Irene Moreno

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