Python Books for Beginners

I’m starting a new job soon, and for that, it’s time to brush up my Python skills again. One of the best way for me to get back into a language is to read a book and try out some of the examples, so I’ve search for a bit, and composed this list. There’s unfortunately quite some books out there with fake reviews, so I thought I’ll share the result of my filtering with you. I’ll share a few of the best Python books for beginners, and one slightly more advanced. 

If you’re completely new to Python; Python is an interpreted, object-oriented, high-level programming language and it’s relatively easy to learn.  So, where to start when you want to learn Python? Enjoy these books that will guide you through everything you need to know:

  • Learning Python, 5th Edition 
    Learning Python, the 5th Edition, is turning 6 years old this year, but it still offers you a comprehensive learning tool for Python. It covers a wide range of topics for programming in Python, such as Types & Operations, Statements and Syntax, Functions and Generators, Modules and Packages and much more. The first chapter is a great start, it’s a Q&A session about Python and why people use Python. If you’re a beginner, this can help you a lot. A nice feature of this book is that every chapter ends with a quiz, so you can verify yourself to see if you’ve understood the topics correctly.
  • Python Crash Course, second edition: A Hands-On, Project-Based Introduction to Programming
    An interesting book for the absolute beginner, which has just been updated to a new release! This book gets great reviews but it assumes that this is one of your first coding book. If it’s not, then maybe Learning Python is a better book, but if this is your first coding book, the author will take you through a few interesting projects to get your hands dirty and learn coding by doing!
  • Think Python. How to Think Like a Computer Scientist 
    This is a great book if you’re new to programming or coming from another language. Each chapter ends with debugging tips, a glossary and some exercises to keep you going. This really is a hands-on guide that will teach you Python one step at the time.
  • Beginning Python: From Novice to Professional, 2nd edition 
    This book gives you a great overview and covers the Python fundamentals in-depth. A really like that the first part of the book guides you through a series of tasks including working with files, databases, web programming and testing. The last ten chapters consist of ten programming projects: ‘one must program in order to learn to program’. The projects include: automated text markup, remote text editor, file sharing with XML-RPC, a ‘do-it-yourself’ arcade game and much more.
  • Learn Python 3 the hard way. 
    Some people love it, some people dislike it, there seems to be no middle ground. Learn Code the Hard Way is offered as free PDFs. Other books in the series cover Python, Ruby, C, SQL or Regex ‘the hard way’. These books are written by Zed Shaw and will give you more insight in how to get started with any of the above topics.
    Learn Python the Hard Way is written for beginners who know nothing about programming and it will teach you the basics of programming. You will learn how to use the terminal and the text editor. By trying out the examples, this book is focusing about learning by doing.
  • Python Pocket Reference (Pocket Reference (O’Reilly))
    If you’re travelling a lot, this book is right for you! A convenient pocket guide worth keeping close at hand. This reference covers both Python 3.4 and 2.7. While it’s getting a bit of an oldie, it’s accurate, easy to understand and very well-written. If you’re on your way and aren’t able to go trough Python’s documentation online, this pocket-book comes in quite handy.
  • Natural Language Processing in Action: Understanding, analyzing, and generating text with Python
    If you’re a complete beginner with Python, this is probably not the best book to start with, but NLP is a great topic, and the book gets a lot of raving reviews, which for once haven’t been written by a bot. Definitely a book to look into to if you’re into Natural Language Processing.

Of course there are many more Python books, so if you have suggestions about which books are really worth mentioning, please let me know!

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