The best books to level up your Python skills

Naomi R. Ceder Author Of The Quick Python Book
By Naomi R. Ceder

Who am I?

I’ve been teaching and writing Python code (and managing others while they write Python code) for over 20 years. After all that time Python is still my tool of choice, and many times Python is the key part of how I explore and think about problems. My experience as a teacher also has prompted me to dig in and look for the simplest way of understanding and explaining the elegant way that Python features fit together. 

I wrote...

The Quick Python Book

By Naomi R. Ceder,

Book cover of The Quick Python Book

What is my book about?

This third revision of Manning's popular The Quick Python Book offers a clear, crisp updated introduction to the elegant Python programming language and its famously easy-to-read syntax. Written for programmers new to Python, this latest edition includes new exercises throughout. It covers features common to other languages concisely, while introducing Python's comprehensive standard functions library and unique features in detail.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Fluent Python: Clear, Concise, and Effective Programming

Why did I love this book?

Luciano’s book is one of the most complete discussions of the ins and outs of Python that I’ve seen. He is fascinated by coding in general and it comes across as he explores the ways Python is similar to (and different from) other language paradigms. This is the book I take out if I’m starting to dig in and explore a feature of Python, and if you want to understand the details beneath the details, this is the book for you. 

By Luciano Ramalho,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fluent Python as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Learn how to write idiomatic, effective Python code by leveraging its best features. Python's simplicity quickly lets you become productive with it, but this often means you aren't using everything the language has to offer. By taking you through Python's key language features and libraries, this practical book shows you how to make your code shorter, faster, and more readable all at the same time--what experts consider "Pythonic."Many programmers who learn Python basics fall into the trap of reinventing the wheel because of past experience in other languages, and try to bend the language to patterns that don't really apply…

Python Distilled

By David Beazley,

Book cover of Python Distilled

Why did I love this book?

Dave is the best teacher of programming and how programming languages (and Python specifically) work that I’ve ever met. He has a knack for making explanations of tough concepts seem clear, and he is very good at focusing on what’s essential to using a coding technique or structure and how to write good code. Like all of Dave’s books, the stuff in here just makes sense.

By David Beazley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Python Distilled as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Expert Insight for Modern Python (3.6+) Development from the Author of Python Essential Reference

The richness of modern Python challenges developers at all levels. How can programmers who are new to Python know where to begin without being overwhelmed? How can experienced Python developers know they're coding in a manner that is clear and effective? How does one make the jump from learning about individual features to thinking in Python at a deeper level? Dave Beazley's new Python Distilled addresses these and many other real-world issues.

Focusing on Python 3.6 and higher, this concise handbook focuses on the essential core…

Book cover of Cleaning Data for Effective Data Science: Doing the other 80% of the work with Python, R, and command-line tools

Why did I love this book?

I like this book not just because it’s a complete guide to the many ins and outs of data cleaning with Python, but also because David lays out the types of problems and the issues behind them. There are always trade-offs in data cleaning and this book lays out those trade-offs better than any other I’ve seen. This is one of the few books that as I go through it, I struggle to think of anything that could have been said better. 

By David Mertz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cleaning Data for Effective Data Science as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Think about your data intelligently and ask the right questions

Key Features Master data cleaning techniques necessary to perform real-world data science and machine learning tasks Spot common problems with dirty data and develop flexible solutions from first principles Test and refine your newly acquired skills through detailed exercises at the end of each chapterBook Description

Data cleaning is the all-important first step to successful data science, data analysis, and machine learning. If you work with any kind of data, this book is your go-to resource, arming you with the insights and heuristics experienced data scientists had to learn the…

Book cover of Beyond the Basic Stuff with Python: Best Practices for Writing Clean Code

Why did I love this book?

Al is one of the clearest writers on Python that I know. Here he distills his experience as both a working software engineer and a successful author to take coders from advanced beginner/intermediate level on to all of the “extra” knowledge one needs to write good code for practical use. When I read this book I find myself wishing I could write with such simplicity.

By Al Sweigart,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Beyond the Basic Stuff with Python as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

You're a student who wants to jumpstart their career with practical skills, or you're a self-taught beginner who has learned all you can from beginner programmer books and coding bootcamps. Now you're looking for the next step to becoming a real-world professional programmer so you can create your own apps and get started with your career. If that fits, then this book is for you! This book is perfect for self-taught programmers looking for the stuff intro books don't teach you and students wanting to get practical information before getting started with applying their new programming skills.

Book cover of Practices of the Python Pro

Why did I love this book?

Dane covers the more advanced topics a programmer needs to be successful as a professional. In particular, he has good discussions of the basics of software design – things like separation of concerns, encapsulation, testing, and performance, as well as some of the issues involved with creating and maintaining large-scale systems. This is the book that I wish I’d had early in my coding career. 

By Dane Hillard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Practices of the Python Pro as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Professional developers know the many benefits of writing application code that’s clean, well-organized, and easy to maintain. By learning and following established patterns and best practices, you can take your code and your career to a new level.
With Practices of the Python Pro, you’ll learn to design professional-level, clean, easily maintainable software at scale using the incredibly popular programming language, Python. You’ll find easy-to-grok examples that use pseudocode and Python to introduce software development best practices, along with dozens of instantly useful techniques that will help you code like a pro.

Purchase of the print book includes a…

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