The best books to level up your Python skills

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

The Books I Picked & Why

Fluent Python: Clear, Concise, and Effective Programming

By Luciano Ramalho

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

Why 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. 


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Python Distilled

By David Beazley

Book cover of Python Distilled

Why 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.


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

By David Mertz

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

Why 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. 


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

By Al Sweigart

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

Why 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.


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Practices of the Python Pro

By Dane Hillard

Book cover of Practices of the Python Pro

Why 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. 


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