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Top 5 Books to learn Python for Beginners - Best of Lot

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Hello guys, I wish you a very Happy New year. If you are making your technical goals and need some ideas, I would suggest learning Python Programming language this year.

Whether you are an AI expert or a Computer Science student, you will come across Python Programming language sooner or later in your career, and having a good knowledge of Python programming language will go a long way in your career.

Starting its journey in 1991, Python has now captured the Programming world. Started as just a scripting solution for trivial stuff, Python is now everywhere. Unlike Rust, Golang, Julia, TypeScript, and Dart, Python is not a new language but it is still considered as Modern programming language.

With its excellent libraries and frameworks, Python is driving Data Science, Web Development, Machine Learning, Server Side development, Artificial Intelligence, Web Scraping, Automation, and General Programming stuff, and that's why it makes sense to Learn Python.

Unlike some programming languages like Java, Golang or C++, which are good for server-side applications and complex programs but not suitable for simple things, because of its excellent libraries and vibrant community, you can do almost everything using Python from object-oriented programming to writing simple scripts.

Being an author of a technical blog, I often receive queries like what is the best way to learn Python? Which are the best books to learn Python 3? Which online courses should I join to learn Python, etc.?

While online courses are great to start with, and I did share some of the best Python courses before, I feel, Python books still have its place. They are the most comprehensive and authoritative source of knowledge for any technology, and Python is no different.

Even if you don't know anything about Python, you can use these book to kick-start your Python career, I have specially chosen Python books which promote hands-on learning and easy for beginners to follow-on and a few titles for advanced Python programmers to explore further.

Once you find your feet using an online course like The Complete Python 3 Bootcamp, you can dig deeper into the massive world of Python by following these books.

Top 5 Books and Courses to Learn Python in 2020- Best of Lot

5 Best Books to Learn Python for Beginners

So, without wasting any more of your time, let's start with some of the best books to learn Python for beginners and intermediate developers:

1. Automating Boring Stuff with Python

This is the first book I had read along with Head First Python when I started learning Python a couple of years back. Since then, this is my goto book for Python.

I started learning Python to automate a few things, and the title got me, but I didn't get disappointed as the book truly lives the title.

It will straightway teach you all practical stuff like sending an email notification, reading files, appending into XLS, scrapping data on the web, and automating trivial things using Python without you spending days and night learning sorting algorithms, object-oriented programming, and all kinds of computer science stuff.

If you are someone who learns by doing real things, then this book is for you. Another great thing is that author Al Sweigart has also created an online course on Udemy with the same title "Automate the Boring Stuff with Python Programming," so if you want to listen to him for more active learning you can also join that course along with reading this book.

Top 5 Books to Learn Python - Best of Lot

2. Learn Python 3 The Hard Way, by Zed A. Shaw

If you ask about a Python book for beginners, a lot of people will recommend "Learn Python The Hard Way, by Zed A. Shaw," and this happens to me as well.

As Jason pointed out in comments, now there is a new version of this as well "Learn Python 3 The Hard Way", which is more relevant given python 2.7 already going out and python 3 is taking over.

This was one of the books which were suggested to me by my Python buddy, but I didn't get a chance to look because I was more hooked with the "Automating Boring Stuff with Python" and "Head First Python" book. I did read it later and learned a lot from it as it fills many gaps in my learning.

Reading books from multiple authors also helps you to grasp the concept better because some explain one topic better while others explain other topics.

If you like Zed A. Shaw learning a hard way approach, then you will love this book. I also suggest combining this with this Python Programming MasterClass to get the best of both worlds.

best book to learn Python 3 for beginners

3. Python Crash Course

The Python Crash Course: A Hands-On, Project-Based Introduction to Programming, by Eric Matthes, is another awesome, hands-on book to learn Python, and it's very much like the first book in this list.

If for some reason, you won't be able to connect with AI Sweigart, author of the first Python book on this list, then you should try this one.

It's a fast-paced, thorough introduction to Python that will have you writing programs, solving problems, and making things that work in no time. If you want to combine with an online course, I suggest you join the Python for Everybody certification course on Coursera, which is just amazing and goes nice with these books.

best book to learn Python in 2019

4. Head First Python: A Brain-Friendly Guide, by Paul Barry

Well, this is the book that has taught me Python. I am a big fan of the Head First series of books and having gone through most of their best-sellers like Head First Java and Head First Design Pattern, I really like the way they make learning fun.

Their unique style not only encourages you to read the book for a long time without getting bored but also pushes you to do stuff along the way.

This work and fun model also helps you to retain the knowledge. When it comes to the subject matter, the book is great for beginners but not as practical as the "Python Crash Course" or "Automating Boring Stuff with Python" book, but it still is a very good book to start learning Python.

best Python beginner book

5. Fluent Python: Clear, Concise, and Effective Programming, by Luciano Ramalho

This is my favorite book for advanced Python programmers, as it will help you to learn the best techniques to write better Python programs.

Applying the lessons from the book will help you to write a clearer, shorter, and faster Python code for your real-world Python Projects.

It's like Effective Java for Python Programmers, and if you need more advice, you can combine this book with "Python Tricks: A Buffet of Awesome Python Features" by Dan Bader, other awesome books to learn some advanced Python tips.

best Python book for advanced programmers

That's all about some of the best books to learn Python for beginners and beyond. These are some of the timeless Python books and deserve a place on every serious Python programmer's bookshelf.

No matter whether you are doing Data Science with Python or creating a web application using Django or Flask, learning Python programming better will only make you a better Python developer.

If you are serious about learning Python in-depth, here are some more free and paid resources for Further Learning

Thanks for reading this article so far. If you like these Python books, then please share this article with your friends and colleagues. If you have any questions or feedback, then please drop a note, and if you have a Python book which I should read, feel free to share it with us.

P. S. - If you prefer interactive reading and learn-by-doing rather than reading books or watching videos then you can also take a look at the 100 Days of Code: The Complete Python Pro Bootcamp for, it's an awesome course to learn Python by doing on Udemy. It's also part of their very best course selection called select and Udemy for business, which means if your company offer Udemy for business, you can access this python course for FREE.

Top comments (6)

xanderyzwich profile image
Corey McCarty

I'd just want to point out that is free and has the entirety of the book's material.

javinpaul profile image

Thanks, I wasn't aware that there is also a site as well.

codemouse92 profile image
Jason C. McDonald • Edited

I would say, do NOT purchase Learn Python The Hard Way. It's grossly outdated at this point, even the later editions.

Instead, get Learn Python 3 The Hard Way, also by Zed Shaw. That's far more relevant and up-to-date.

javinpaul profile image

thanks, Jason, I agree, Learn Python 3 The Hard way is more relevant at this point of time. I have updated the article.

naimmalek profile image
Naim Malek