Best Python Programming Books

Python is an extremely friendly programming language for beginners. Its simple syntax makes a new learner understand the language pretty quickly. For some people who love learning something new from a book, there are so many good Python programming books they can pick. In fact, choosing the best Python book can be more strenuous than we thought.

Based on my experience, you will need two or three learning resources to fully grasp the basic of Python programming. In this post, I will bring you four Python books that I found provide excellent content for persons who just start learning Python. The four books are:
  1. Learning Python
  2. Python Crash Course 
  3. Lean Python 
  4. Learn Python 3 The Hard Way

1. Learning Python

This book presents you with comprehensive, profound introduction to the foundation of Python language. This hands-on book is based on the training course of the author Mark Lutz. This fifth edition will guide you to write valid and excellent code using Python. It is regarded as one of the best books for beginners, regardless of whether you are learning programming for the first time or you are an experience programmer who uses other languages.

The Learning Python covers all Python aspects. It is crucial since anyone can start coding Python, however only mastering the basic syntax is not enough. You have to be able to write code that solve a problem effectively. This book will help you to achieve this objective.

With the inclusion of exercises, questions and helpful instructions, this self-paced, easy-to-follow tutorial gives you a good start with Python. You will also learn advance features of this language which have recently introduced.

Learning Python

You will start exploring main Python built-in functions like lists, dictionaries, and numbers. This is followed by learning how to create and reuse functions for avoiding redundancy in the code. Moreover, you will learn how to perform object oriented programming in Python.

Lastly, you will practice how to write more advance programs using the exception-handling technique, descriptors, decorators, metaclasses as well as Unicode processing. This book is written in English and has 1648 pages.

2. Python Crash Course

The Python Crash Course features a thorough, fast-paced introduction to Python language which will make you write programs efficiently. You will be guided to provide solutions to problems and creating apps that function within no time. The book has 560 pages and was written by Matthes Eric.

From the first half of this book, you get to learn the fundamental concepts of programming like lists, classes, loops, dictionaries. You can also practice writing readable and clean code with the exercises for every topic. You can additionally comprehend how to make interactive programs and ways of testing code before releasing your project.

Python Crash Course

In the remaining part of this book, you get to put your acquired knowledge to practice with the substantial three projects: Space Invaders (arcade game), visualization of data with the Python useful libraries and a web app which you could launch online.

When you learn with Python tutorial you will get knowledge on how to:
  • Make use of Python libraries such as NumPy, Pygal, and matplotlib
  • Create 2D games which respond to mouse clicks and keypresses and which become difficult with the progress of the game.
  • Work with information to create interactive visualizations
  • Create as well as personalize web applications and safely launch them online
  • Catching errors to solve your programming issues.

In short, this is a great book to purchase and is time-worthy in case you want to get the basics about the Python language.

  • If you are new to Python programming and eager to learn it effectively, you can read my post about Python Learning Roadmap.

3. Lean Python: Learn Just Enough Python to Build Useful Tools

This book enables you to learn the very essence of Python language. You won't be introduced to features that are rarely used. The author of this book only delivers the highly used functions because these functions are all you have to know to be a proficient Python programmer.

Lean Python delivers 58 Python most common functions and methods and then clusters them into 15. The following are some of the benefits you get from this book.
  • You will learn how to create essential tools
  • You get to use the python objects, I/O, modules, program structure and more
  • You will be able to handle exceptions and errors
  • You learn to test the code safely

Lean Python

This book will suit three types of readers:

The expert programmer (if you have some knowledge about the programming language)-Lean Python offers an easy way of understanding Python language as well as some of the Python’s design philosophy.

Non-programmer who work in an IT department that requires in-depth technical discussion with programmers. Working and going through examples in this book will assist you understanding how to build and launch an app successfully.

Beginners-if you want the first programming book which you can quickly comprehend so you can quickly advance to next levels materials.

4. Learn Python 3 the Hard Way

‘Learn Python 3 the Hard Way’ by Zed A. Shaw is a perfect book if you want a clear-cut guidance. This book contains 52 perfectly collated exercises and you have to do is read the code and type it precisely.

For some learners, this type of 'just do like I said' style is not their cup of tea. Therefore, you can find many poor reviews about this book on the internet. But for me, this book is so precious because it guided me to understand Python.

Zed's instructions go to the nitty-gritty detail of Python. It starts with how to setup the Python properly on your computer including how to use a text editor. This is very important for a total noob like me who just started learning programming.

Learn Python 3 the Hard Way

It is followed by a series of exercises in the next chapters. It covers basic topics such as variables, strings, basic mathematics, loops, conditional and data structures. Subsequently, you will learn Python functions, class and object, creating simple apps and automated testing.

Additionally, I found that this book is not suitable to learn object oriented programming (OOP). A more advance topic like OOP cannot be digested by retyping the code from the book. You must understand the theory and principles behind it. That made me left this book when I worked on exercise 42 because I couldn't make heads or tails of the code.
degree in Programming with Python Now!

Nevertheless, this book is a great option if you want to learn basic Python programming immediately.


When you decided to learn Python programming from a book, you could find dozens of high quality Python books on the market. There are two types of books for beginners you can choose, comprehensive books that teach you Python from level 0 up to building some applications and books which only deliver the essence of Python programming.

If you have time to explore various aspects of Python programming, the comprehensive book is suitable for you (the first two books above). However, if you already had a plan to be a web developer, data scientist or apply Python in finance industry, bioinformatics or others than you should pick the later one (the last two books).