The best python books 📚

Browse the best books on python as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

Coming Fall 2022: The ability to sort this list by genre (signup here to follow our story as we build a better way to discover books).

Book cover of The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering

The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering

By Frederick P. Brooks Jr

Why this book?

In the 1970s, Brooks was the leading thinker on managing large software projects in the world, and unexpected delays in completing complex coding tasks were emerging as a costly headache for large organizations. Brooks was considered a software luminary within IBM, which dominated the digital world in the era before the advent of the personal computer.

“In many ways, managing a large computer programming project is like managing any other large undertaking, but in many other ways it is different – in more ways than most professional managers expect,” Brooks dryly declared in the opening lines of a book destined…

From the list:

The best books on the human dimension of writing computer code

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

Python Testing with Pytest: Simple, Rapid, Effective, and Scalable

By Brian Okken

Why 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.

From the list:

The best books for the Python and non-Python developers

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Book cover of The Pragmatic Programmer: Your Journey to Mastery

The Pragmatic Programmer: Your Journey to Mastery

By David Thomas, Andrew Hunt

Why this book?

A full collection of self-reflecting ideas about how to approach coding from a strategic point of view. While some of it can be a bit obvious for the experienced developer, it can be invaluable for the newcomer and it’s always great to solidify knowledge in a more consistent way. The kind of book that you can read again after a few years and keep learning.

From the list:

The best books for the Python and non-Python developers

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

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

By Al Sweigart

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.

From the list:

The best books to level up your Python skills

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Book cover of Get Programming: Learn to Code with Python

Get Programming: Learn to Code with Python

By Ana Bell

Why this book?

Bell is an expert teacher. I like the order of topics; the breakdown of topics into units; the short, targeted lessons in each unit; the varied capstone projects to tie things together; the explicit learning goals; the structured approach to solving problems. The first bit of code that you’ll write is on page 30. Your first complete program is on page 60. What’s up with those first 59 pages, then? Motivation, comparisons to daily life, setup, and building blocks. Things that other authors tend to skip but that may be important for some learners. Bonus feature: “I try not to…

From the list:

The best books for a rock solid python programming foundation

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Book cover of Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager

Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager

By Michael Lopp

Why this book?

Michael Lopp, or Rands, as he is commonly known online, has been sharing his knowledge as a software manager for years, mainly through his blog. He is one of the most insightful voices about the art of management in a software environment, and even if you are not a manager yourself (and don’t want to become one), will make you understand and better collaborate with your own manager, and be ready when you need to lead a team or understand how it is to work with other humans.

From the list:

The best books for the Python and non-Python developers

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

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