53 books like Python Distilled

By David Beazley,

Here are 53 books that Python Distilled fans have personally recommended if you like Python Distilled. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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

Naomi R. Ceder Author Of The Quick Python Book

From my list on to level up your Python skills.

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. 

Naomi's book list on to level up your Python skills

Naomi R. Ceder Why did Naomi 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…


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

Naomi R. Ceder Author Of The Quick Python Book

From my list on to level up your Python skills.

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. 

Naomi's book list on to level up your Python skills

Naomi R. Ceder Why did Naomi 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

Naomi R. Ceder Author Of The Quick Python Book

From my list on to level up your Python skills.

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. 

Naomi's book list on to level up your Python skills

Naomi R. Ceder Why did Naomi 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

Naomi R. Ceder Author Of The Quick Python Book

From my list on to level up your Python skills.

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. 

Naomi's book list on to level up your Python skills

Naomi R. Ceder Why did Naomi 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?

Summary
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…


Book cover of Python for Everybody: Exploring Data in Python 3

Daniel Zingaro Author Of Learn to Code by Solving Problems: A Python Programming Primer

From my list on for a rock solid python programming foundation.

Who am I?

Some programmers learn through online articles, videos, and blog posts. Not me. I need a throughline—a consistent, expert distillation of the material to take me from where I am to where I want to be. I am not good at patching together information from disparate sources. I need a great book. I have a PhD in computer science education, and I want to know what helps people learn. More importantly, I want to know how we can use such discoveries to write more effective books. The books I appreciate most are those that demonstrate not only mastery of the subject matter but also mastery of teaching.

Daniel's book list on for a rock solid python programming foundation

Daniel Zingaro Why did Daniel love this book?

Learning to program is hard. We need teachers who remember this, who are patient, who support the learning process, who not only know how to teach but also know how to learn from their teaching. Severance is all of these things. I like the breezy but precise writing, sections on debugging, glossaries and exercises in each chapter, and discussion of common learner errors. Bonus feature: regular expressions.

By Charles R. Severance,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Python for Everybody is designed to introduce students to programming and software development through the lens of exploring data. You can think of the Python programming language as your tool to solve data problems that are beyond the capability of a spreadsheet.

Python is an easy to use and easy to learn programming language that is freely available on Macintosh, Windows, or Linux computers. So once you learn Python you can use it for the rest of your career without needing to purchase any software.

This book uses the Python 3 language. The earlier Python 2 version of this book…


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

Yuxi (Hayden) Liu Author Of Python Machine Learning By Example: Build intelligent systems using Python, TensorFlow 2, PyTorch, and scikit-learn

From my list on machine learning for beginners.

Who am I?

I have been a machine learning engineer applying my ML expertise in computational advertising, and search domain. I am an author of 8 machine learning books. My first book was ranked the #1 bestseller in its category on Amazon in 2017 and 2018 and was translated into many languages. I am also a ML education enthusiast and used to teach ML courses in Toronto, Canada.  

Yuxi's book list on machine learning for beginners

Yuxi (Hayden) Liu Why did Yuxi love this book?

This book is more advanced than the first book I recommended. It presents ML theoretical and practical aspects step-by-step from the bottom up. Each chapter elaborates at length on a core building block in the ML life cycle. For example, feature engineering, supervised learning, and model evaluation have their own separate chapters, with intuitive discussions of how they work. Most of the concept is taught through the simple yet powerful Python Module Scikit-Learn so it won’t overburden you with heavy programming. This book will be perfect for practitioners with some understanding of statistics and linear algebra.

By Andreas C. Müller, Sarah Guido,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Introduction to Machine Learning with Python as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Machine learning has become an integral part of many commercial applications and research projects, but this field is not exclusive to large companies with extensive research teams. If you use Python, even as a beginner, this book will teach you practical ways to build your own machine learning solutions. With all the data available today, machine learning applications are limited only by your imagination. You'll learn the steps necessary to create a successful machine-learning application with Python and the scikit-learn library. Authors Andreas Muller and Sarah Guido focus on the practical aspects of using machine learning algorithms, rather than the…


Book cover of Mastering Django

Arun Ravindran Author Of Django Design Patterns and Modern Best Practices

From my list on Django for building solid web apps in Python.

Who am I?

I’ve been dabbling in Python for the last 22 years. I am a regular speaker at Pycon India ever since its inception. Most of my talks are related to Django. I host arunrocks.com where I write tutorials, and articles and publish screencasts on several Django and Python topics. My initial screencast titled "Building a blog in 30 mins with Django" is one of the most popular screencasts for beginners in Django. I’m a developer member of the Django Software Foundation.

Arun's book list on Django for building solid web apps in Python

Arun Ravindran Why did Arun love this book?

Another book with a detailed coverage of the Django web framework. This is a revised book written originally by Adrian Holovaty and Jacob Kaplan-Moss—the creators of Django themselves. Hence the initial chapters are an excellent in-depth description of how Django works. The remaining parts of the books go into intermediate and advanced topics.

By Nigel George,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Mastering Django is the latest version of Mastering Django: Core—the original, best-selling programmer’s reference for Django.

Mastering Django is not just a revision of the original book—it has been completely rewritten from the ground up to meet the needs of modern Django programmers.

The main goal of this book is to make you a Django expert. By reading this book, you’ll learn the skills needed to develop powerful websites quickly, with code that is clean and easy to maintain.

This book is also a programmer’s manual that provides complete coverage of modern Django version 3 and above.

For developers creating…


Book cover of Python Testing with Pytest: Simple, Rapid, Effective, and Scalable

Jaime Buelta Author Of Python Automation Cookbook

From my list on for Python and non-Python developers.

Who am I?

Since I was a kid, I’ve been passionate about technology and had a clear vocation to work with computers. I’ve been a developer for more than 20 years now, spending half of them mainly in the Python environment, and I’ve always been interested in improving my skills. While it’s true that software development is a field that changes constantly and technology evolves at great speed, there are some elements that remain relatively unchanged and can be used to compound knowledge and ability. In particular, the elements that are closer to the human element, teamwork, coordination, etc. are quite stable over time.

Jaime's book list on for Python and non-Python developers

Jaime Buelta Why did Jaime love this book?

While this is a Python-specific book, it’s a fantastic description of all the possibilities for testing with a powerful module like Pytest offers. Testing is one of the basic experiences for a programmer, as it should be included as a core part of the development process. Understanding all the different options available like mark groups of tests, parametric tests, building your own extensions, or test coverage, to name only a few details, expands the understanding of how to design better tests and run them more efficiently.

By Brian Okken,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Do less work when testing your Python code, but be just as expressive, just as elegant, and just as readable. The pytest testing framework helps you write tests quickly and keep them readable and maintainable - with no boilerplate code. Using a robust yet simple fixture model, it's just as easy to write small tests with pytest as it is to scale up to complex functional testing for applications, packages, and libraries. This book shows you how. For Python-based projects, pytest is the undeniable choice to test your code if you're looking for a full-featured, API-independent, flexible, and extensible testing…


Book cover of Django for Beginners

Arun Ravindran Author Of Django Design Patterns and Modern Best Practices

From my list on Django for building solid web apps in Python.

Who am I?

I’ve been dabbling in Python for the last 22 years. I am a regular speaker at Pycon India ever since its inception. Most of my talks are related to Django. I host arunrocks.com where I write tutorials, and articles and publish screencasts on several Django and Python topics. My initial screencast titled "Building a blog in 30 mins with Django" is one of the most popular screencasts for beginners in Django. I’m a developer member of the Django Software Foundation.

Arun's book list on Django for building solid web apps in Python

Arun Ravindran Why did Arun love this book?

A beginner-friendly book with very clear writing. Vincent has several books on Django aimed at different levels of expertise. This one has a clear and instructional approach to building simple web applications. It is a little light on concepts and explanation of the requirements, probably intentionally, for which you can rely on other books.

By William S. Vincent,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Django for Beginners as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Completely updated for Django 4.0.

Django for Beginners is a project-based introduction to Django, the popular Python-based web framework. Suitable for total beginners who have never built a website before as well as professional programmers looking for a fast-paced guide to modern web development and Django fundamentals.

In the book you’ll learn how to:

Build 5 websites from scratch, including a Blog and Newspaper website Deploy online using security best practices Customize the look and feel of your sites Write tests and run them for all your code Integrate user authentication, email, and custom user models Add permissions and authorizations…


Book cover of Mission Python: Code a Space Adventure Game!

Daniel Zingaro Author Of Learn to Code by Solving Problems: A Python Programming Primer

From my list on for a rock solid python programming foundation.

Who am I?

Some programmers learn through online articles, videos, and blog posts. Not me. I need a throughline—a consistent, expert distillation of the material to take me from where I am to where I want to be. I am not good at patching together information from disparate sources. I need a great book. I have a PhD in computer science education, and I want to know what helps people learn. More importantly, I want to know how we can use such discoveries to write more effective books. The books I appreciate most are those that demonstrate not only mastery of the subject matter but also mastery of teaching.

Daniel's book list on for a rock solid python programming foundation

Daniel Zingaro Why did Daniel love this book?

Learning how to program in Python and make a video game at the same time. Hmm – sounds like learning your native language while writing a novel. That could be messy. Could be – but not with this book. McManus knows video games. McManus knows how to teach. I love the idea of teaching a programming language through one extended context. If, like me, you’re fascinated by retro video games, get this book and let that fascination propel you through your beginning programming journey. Bonus feature: commitment to the bit; everything is in space!

By Sean McManus,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mission Python as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

Launch into coding with Mission: Python, a space-themed guide to building a complete computer game in Python. As you work through the book, you'll build exercises and mini-projects, like making a spacewalk simulator and creating an astronaut's safety checklist that will put your new Python skills to the test. Before you know it, you'll have a working, awesome game to stump your friends with (and some nifty coding skills, too!). You can follow this book using a Raspberry Pi or a Microsoft Windows PC, and the 3D graphics and sound effects you need are provided as a download.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in python, machine learning, and computer programming?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about python, machine learning, and computer programming.

Python Explore 28 books about python
Machine Learning Explore 46 books about machine learning
Computer Programming Explore 39 books about computer programming