Best Python Books for Beginners and Advanced Programmers

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Best Python Books for Beginners and Advanced Programmers

Vinay Khatri
Last updated on June 16, 2024

    Python is one of the most popular languages. Every year several organizations shift their projects to Python because of the fact that Python code is highly readable and easy to maintain.  Also, due to the widespread popularity of Python, many beginners choose it as their first programming language.

    And as you are reading this blog, you are probably planning to learn Python as well.  What could be better than Python books to learn the popular programming language? However, learning a new programming language could be a daunting task if you do not have the best resources.

    One of the best ways to learn the Python programming language is to go through its official documentation. However, for a beginner to understand the concepts from the documentation could be tricky. So, the best approach would be to learn Python programming fundamentals from Python books.

    At present, there are hundreds of Python books present in the market. However, it might be a daunting task to find the best books to learn Python. To help you out, we have prepared a list of the best Python books for beginners and advanced learners. You might be learning Python from one or more online or offline resources, but having a Python book will help you develop a solid understanding of various Python concepts.

    Why Learn Python?

    When we specifically talk about machine learning , deep learning, and data science, Python is totally dominating in these fields due to its vast community, libraries, and simplicity. Although Python has applications in several other fields, including web development, automation, and game development, the fields mentioned previously are where Python outshines most other programming languages. Moreover, if you are thinking of making a career in artificial intelligence or data science , you must have knowledge of Python.

    20 Best Python Programming Books for Beginners and Professionals

    In order to learn Python, you need to choose the best Python book according to your level. It does not matter whether you are a complete beginner or a professional Python developer . There are several books out there that can help you learn the fundamentals as well as advanced Python concepts and apply them practically.

    Following is a list of some popular books on Python that are suitable for learners of different levels:

    Python Books Author Level
    Head-First Python, 2nd edition Paul Barry Beginner
    Python Crash Course Eric Matthes Beginner
    Learning Python 5th Edition Mark Lutz Beginner
    Learn Python Quickly: A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Learning Python, Even If You’re New to Programming Code Quickly Beginner
    Automate the Boring Stuff with Python, 2nd Edition Al Sweigart Beginner
    Python Tricks: A Buffet of Awesome Python Features Dan Bader Intermediate
    Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python Al Sweigart Intermediate
    Elements of Programming Interviews in Python: The Insiders' Guide Adnan Aziz, Amit Prakash, and Tsung-Hsien Lee Intermediate
    Python for Data Analysis Wes McKinney Intermediate
    Fluent Python (Clear, Concise, and Effective Programming) Luciano Ramalho Advanced
    Python in a Nutshell Alex Martelli, Anna Ravenscroft, Steve Holden Advanced
    Machine Learning with Python Cookbook Chris Albon Advanced
    Python CookBook David Beazley Advanced

    Best Python Books for Beginners

    1. Head-First Python, 2nd edition

    Head-First Python, 2nd edition

    Author: Paul Barry

    Head First Python, 2nd Edition is one of the best Python books for beginners. Even if you do not have experience working with Python or any other programming language, you can read this book to get started with your journey of becoming a proficient Python developer. Additionally, this Python book is trusted by individuals all around the globe because it explains all the essential Python concepts in an easy-to-understand manner.

    In the beginning, this book will walk you through the fundamentals of Python and working with built-in Python functions and data structures. Later, it explores advanced concepts, such as data wrangling, exception handling, and database management.

    Moreover, it describes comprehensions, generators, decorators, and context managers. After reading this book, you will be able to build your own web app using Python.

    About the Author

    Paul Barry has more than 25 years of experience in programming. He is one of the contributing editors of the Linux Journal magazine. Also, he is a third-level educator, which helps him explore, learn, and teach the latest programming languages.

    Publisher: O'Reilly

    Paperback Print Length: 624 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    2. Python Crash Course

    Python Crash Course

    Author: Eric Matthes

    For those who already have some experience with other programming languages, such as C, C++ , or Java, and want to move to Python, this book is an ideal choice. It contains all the basics of Python Programming, such as lists, dictionaries, operators, loops, classes, and functions in the first half. Moreover, you will learn to write Python code and test it safely.

    The second half of the book walks you through three different projects:

    1. Data visualization with Python's libraries.
    2. A simple web app that you can deploy online.
    3. A Space Invaders-inspired arcade game.

    Through this book, you will learn:

    • Python libraries, such as Matplotlib, NumPy, and Pygal.
    • Developing 2D games that can respond to mouse clicks.
    • Working with data to generate appealing visualizations.
    • Creating simple web apps and deploying them safely.
    • Dealing with errors to resolve your own programming issues.

    This book also provides exercises for every concept so that you can practice what you have learned.

    About the Author

    Eric Matthes is a school teacher who teaches mathematics and science. Moreover, he teaches the fundamentals of Python programming to students.

    Publisher: No Starch Press

    Paperback Print Length: 560 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    3. Learning Python 5th Edition

    Learning Python 5th Edition

    Author: Mark Lutz

    This is among the best books for Python that beginners can leverage to get familiar with Python fundamentals. It contains 41 chapters, with each chapter having a bunch of problems. You can practice these problems to test your knowledge and also improve your problem-solving skills. You will find easy-to-understand and self-paced tutorials in this book to get started with Python 2.7 and Python 3.3.

    Through this book, you can learn:

    • Python's built-in object types, such as numbers, lists, and dictionaries.
    • The syntax of Python is simple and easy to comprehend.
    • Python classes.
    • Using exception handling to write large Python programs.
    • Advanced Python tools, such as decorators, Unicode processing, metaclasses, and descriptors.

    By reading this book, you will be able to develop a solid understanding of all basic Python concepts, such as lists and classes. Also, you will get familiar with several popular Python libraries .

    About the Author

    Mark Lutz is a trainer who teaches Python programming to beginners. Also, he is one of those people who made Python more popular. He is the author of many Python books.

    Publisher: O'Reilly Media

    Paperback Print Length: 1,648 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    4. Learn Python Quickly: A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Learning Python, Even If You’re New to Programming

    Author: Code Quickly

    Learn Python Quickly is among the best Python books for beginners to master Python basics quickly and simply. This book covers everything you need to know to develop Python projects in a step-by-step guide. It will help readers grasp the basic as well as advanced concepts of Python. As a result, you can become an intermediate-level Python developer with this book.

    Through this book, you will gain:

    • A strong foundation in Python programming.
    • An in-depth understanding of intermediate and advanced Python concepts.
    • Sound knowledge of how to write Python code.

    Besides, the book covers a wide range of Python programming exercises and solutions. At the end of this book, you will find two projects where you need to apply all the concepts learned throughout the book.

    Publisher: Drip Digital

    Paperback Print Length: 175 pages

    You can buy the book from here .

    5. Automate the Boring Stuff with Python, 2nd Edition

    Author: Al Sweigart

    This book is one of the top Python books to learn from scratch and master advanced Python concepts. The second edition of Automate the Boring Stuff with Python educates the learners on all the basics of Python 3. In addition, this book lets readers explore more about Python 3's rich library of modules for accomplishing various tasks, including scraping data from websites, sending email responses, renaming files, organizing folders, and splitting and merging PDFs.

    More interestingly, this second edition entails new chapters on Gmail and Google Sheets automation, input validation, and effective tips and tricks for updating CSV files. Each chapter concludes with practice projects to help you improve your skills.

    About the Author

    Al Sweigart is a professional software developer who teaches coding to kids as well as adults. Also, Sweigart is a writer of various programming books.

    Publisher: No Starch Press

    Paperback Print Length: 592 pages

    You can buy the book from here .

    Best Python Programming Books for Advanced Programmers

    Now, let us throw light on some of the best advanced Python books available out there intended for professional developers.

    6. Fluent Python (Clear, Concise, and Effective Programming)

    Fluent Python (Clear, Concise, and Effective Programming)

    Author: Luciano Ramalho

    Published in 2015, the author of this book focused on explaining the complexity of Python programming. After reading this book and practicing the exercises provided in it, you will be able to write Python code to create different programs.

    Moreover, the author walks you through the different features and libraries of Python. The primary aim of the author is to make you aware of Python libraries and features to write short, concise, and maintainable Python code.

    Furthermore, this book takes you through the basics to advanced-level concepts in Python. Also, it covers various topics, such as data models, data structures, functions and objects, object-oriented programming , control flow, and metaprogramming. After reading this Python programming book, you will become proficient in Python 3.

    About the Author

    Luciano Ramalho was a web developer. He worked on many large news ports in Brazil using Python. Moreover, he has taught Python web development to the Brazilian banking, government, and media sectors.

    Publisher: Shroff/O'Reilly

    Paperback Print Length: 766 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    7. Python in a Nutshell

    Python in a Nutshell- for the Advance learner

    Author: Alex Martelli, Anna Ravenscroft, Steve Holden

    This book is highly recommended for advanced Python learners. As Python is one of the most powerful programming languages out there, having just the knowledge of Python basics is not enough to build a successful career as a Python developer.

    Python in a Nutshell talks about many advanced features of Python and also explains how you can use them. After reading all the chapters of this book, you will be able to create complicated Python programs. Reading this book requires some experience with Python. It covers various advanced topics, such as web and network programming, database interactions, XML handling, and numeric computing.

    This book covers:

    • Python syntax, object-oriented Python, and libraries and packages in Python.
    • The fundamentals of networking, event-driven programming, and client-side network protocol modules.
    • Python extension modules.
    • Python tools for packaging and distributing extensions, modules, and applications.

    About the Author

    Alex Martelli worked at IBM for 8 years, think3 inc. for 13 years, Google for 12 years, and a consultant for AB Strakt for 4 years. Moreover, he has taught numerical computing, programming languages, and development methods at many universities.

    Anna Martelli Ravenscroft is a Python enthusiast. She is a fellow of PSF and the winner of the 2013 Frank Willison Memorial Award for her contribution to the Python community.

    Steve Holden is the CTO of a stress-management startup. He has written many Python books. Also, he taught TCP/IP, database, network security, and programming topics to students.

    Publisher: O'Reilly Media

    Paperback Print Length: 772 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    8. Machine Learning with Python Cookbook

    Machine Learning with Python CookBook: for Advance learner

    Author: Chris Albon

    In this book on Python programming, you will find a lot of code examples that you can run on your computer in a Python interpreter . This will help you to learn how Python code works. It consists of 200 self-contained recipes, helping you solve machine learning challenges that you encounter in daily life. It is a perfect Python coding book.

    By reading this book, you will be able to get familiar with the practical skill sets that a Python programmer needs to learn and work with machine learning. Each code example comes with a detailed explanation to help you understand the functioning of the code effectively. If you have knowledge of Python libraries, such as Pandas and Scikit-learn, you will be able to solve various problems, such as model selection, loading data, numerical data, and many others.

    In this book, you will find a step-by-step guide to the following problems:

    • Vector, matrices, and arrays.
    • Dimensionality reduction using feature extraction.
    • Support Vector Machines (SVMs), naive Bayes, clustering, and neural networks.
    • Handling numerical and categorical data.
    • Model evaluation and selection.
    • Linear and logical regression, k-nearest neighbors, trees, and forests.

    About the Author

    Chris Albon holds a Ph.D. in quantitative political science and is a data scientist. He has more than ten years of experience in artificial intelligence, statistical learning, and software engineering. Also, he is the founder of the artificial intelligence company named New Knowledge.

    Publisher: O'Reilly Media

    Paperback Print Length: 366 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    9. Python CookBook

    Python Cookbook, Third Edition

    Author: David Beazley

    If you want to develop Python code in Python 3 or update Python 2 code, this Python coding book is just for you. This book is ideal for experienced Python programmers. You will find multiple code examples or recipes in Python that help you concentrate on state-of-the-art tools and techniques. Also, you can use these recipes directly in your project as per your needs.

    This book covers the following:

    • Data structures and algorithms.
    • Numbers, Date, and Time.
    • Strings and text.
    • Iterators and Generators.
    • Functions, classes, and objects.
    • Metaprogramming.
    • Packages and modules.
    • Network and web programming.
    • Testing, Debugging, and Exceptions.
    • Data encoding and processing.

    About the Author

    David Beazley is an independent software developer. Moreover, he works on programming tools and provides custom software development and practical programming courses to software developers and engineers. He is well-known for his contribution to the Python programming language. He has also developed many open-source packages, like Swig and PLY. In addition, he has experience working with C, C++, and assembly languages.

    Publisher: O'Reilly Media

    Paperback Print Length: 706 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    Python Books for Intermediate Developers

    10. Python Tricks: A Buffet of Awesome Python Features

    Python Tricks: A Buffet of Awesome Python Features

    Author: Dan Bader

    This book was released in 2017. It can help you to develop your coding skills in the Python programming language by teaching you various awesome tricks. This book is highly recommended for Python developers who already have knowledge of Python basics. As its name suggests, this Python book helps you learn all the significant features of Python. It covers some common Python topics, as follows:

    • Object-oriented programming and classes.
    • Common data structures in Python.
    • Dictionary tricks.
    • Looping and iteration.
    • Productivity techniques to improve your Python code.

    About the Author

    Dan Bader is a Pythonista. He has loved programming since his childhood and is currently serving as a software developer for 15 years. Moreover, he helps Python developers to hone their Python expertise.

    Publisher: Dan Bader

    Paperback Print Length: 302 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    11. Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python

    Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python

    Author: Al Sweigart

    Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python is the best Python book for those who are new to Python programming. In this book, the author discusses how to build simple games. Also, he explains the logic that can help learners to understand Python programs easily.

    You will find basic Python games, such as Hangman game, Tic-Tac-Toe, guess the number, and many others. Later, you will move to more advanced games, such as the animated collision-dodging game and the treasure-hunting game.

    Through this book, you can learn how to:

    • Pick the right data structure for your project.
    • Use the Python module to use animations in your Python game.
    • Program artificial intelligence using Python.
    • Debug your program and find errors.
    • Use variables, loops, and flow control statements in your program.

    At the end of this book, you will be able to develop simple animated games with sound effects. Moreover, while learning to build games, you will also get familiar with various important Python concepts.

    About the Author

    Al Sweigart is a tech book author and a software developer. He has developed a lot of open-source modules for Python, as Python is his favorite language.

    Publisher: No Starch Press

    Paperback Print Length: 376 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    12. Elements of Programming Interviews in Python: The Insiders' Guide

    Author: Adnan Aziz, Amit Prakash, and Tsung-Hsien Lee

    If you have mastered all Python programming concepts, developed some projects, and looking for some resources to acing Python interviews, this book is an excellent guide. This book covers more than 250 interview problems with detailed step-by-step solutions. So, we can say that it is one of the best Python test books.

    Initially, the authors talk about the non-technical aspects of interviews, such as effective tips and tricks for acing interviews, common mistakes students make during interviews, and tips on negotiating for the best offer. Later, they provided an overview of data structures, algorithms, and problem-solving patterns.

    Moreover, the interview problems included in this book are based on data structures, searching, algorithm, design principles, sorting, and concurrency.

    About the Author

    Adnan Aziz is a research scientist at Facebook. Formerly, he worked as a professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Texas.

    Amit Prakash was one of the members of the technical staff at Google, where he solved a variety of machine learning problems related to online advertising. Currently, he is the founder of Thoughspot, which is a Silicon Valley startup.

    Tsung-Hsien Lee is a software engineer at Uber. Earlier, he worked as a software engineer intern at Facebook.

    Publisher: Amazon Digital Services

    Paperback Print Length: 429 pages

    You can buy the book from here .

    13. Python for Data Analysis

    Python for Data Analysis

    Author: Wes McKinney

    Data analysis is one of the most important tasks that you can accomplish using the Python programming language. If you are seeking a career in data science, data analytics, or scientific computing with Python, then this book is for you. This book is a perfect guide for Python 3.6, which includes multiple practical case studies that teach you how to solve data analysis problems.

    Moreover, you will find a complete guide on manipulating, processing, cleaning, and crunching datasets in Python. In this book, you will explore the following:

    • IPython shell and Jupyter Notebook for exploratory data analysis.
    • Basic and advanced features of NumPy.
    • How to use tools in Pandas library for data analysis.
    • Matplotlib for creating visualizations.
    • Solve real-world data analysis problems.
    • Use tools to clean, load, transform, merge, and reshape data.

    This book serves as one of the best Python books for data science.

    About the Author

    Wes McKinney is a software developer and entrepreneur. While his studies, he got frustrated with data analysis tools , learned Python, and started building a project that later developed into the Pandas project. Also, he was an active member of the Python community. He was also the co-founder and CEO of DataPad.

    Publisher: O'Reilly Media

    Paperback Print Length: 550 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    Python Books for Kids

    14. Python for Kids

    Author: Jason R. Briggs

    Python for Kids is a simple yet elegant book that introduces kids of 10+ to Python. The author has included a variety of examples based on Python concepts that feature thriving ravens, secret agents, ravenous monsters, and many others. Also, he has included full-color illustrations to make it easy for kids to grasp Python concepts. Each chapter ends with an interesting quiz to test kids' knowledge.

    More interestingly, kids will be able to build two games by the end of this book as follows:

    • A clone of the Pong and "Mr. Stick Man Races for the Exit".
    • A platform game with jumps, animations, etc.

    Moreover, this book teaches kids to:

    • Use lists, tuples, and maps.
    • Put control structures, like loops and conditional statements, into practice.
    • Organize and reuse code with the help of functions and modules.
    • Use Python's turtle module to draw various shapes.

    About the Author

    Since age 8, Jason has been an enthusiastic programmer. Later, he developed his career in the software industry and served as a professional software developer, system architect, and contributing editor for Java Developer's Journal.

    Publishe r: No Starch Press

    Paperback Print Length: 344 pages

    You can buy the book from here .

    15. Python in Easy Steps (2nd Edition)

    Author: Mike McGrath

    The second edition of Python in Easy Steps is a newer one. It is one of the most comprehensive Python Books for kids that helps them learn how to program in Python. The author has penned an array of code examples with colorized source code to make it easy for kids to understand.

    Initially, kids will get familiar with the process of installing a Python interpreter. Once they get it, they can simply execute the examples available in the book on their own. But before code examples, the author has explained all the basic concepts of Python.

    In the later sections of the book, kids will also get acquainted with object-oriented programming (OOP) and CGI scripting. It is an excellent book for middle-school-going kids.

    About the Author

    Mike McGrath worked as a developer in various companies. Along with this book, he has also contributed to guides on various languages, including Java, C++, JavaScript, PHP, Visual Basic Express, and SQL.

    Publisher: In Easy Steps Limited

    Paperback Print Length: 197 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    16. Coding Projects in Python

    Author: Craig Steele

    Coding Projects in Python is yet another best book for kids of ages 9 to 12. It is one of the best Python project books for kids that teaches them how to build graphics, fun games, and many other useful applications in Python. This book is a visual guide for kids that entails easy-to-follow instructions to build projects in Python.

    Moreover, the author explains each Python concept with step-by-step instructions. This book lets kids develop 14 fun projects and quizzes to expand their Python knowledge. However, this book is ideal for those who wish to take the next step in mastering Python after learning the fundamentals.

    About the Author

    Craig Steele leads the CoderDojo movement in Scotland. This movement is intended to provide open learning to young people.

    Publisher: DK Children

    Paperback Print Length: 224 pages

    You can buy the book from here .

    17. Coding for Kids: Python: Learn to Code with 50 Awesome Games and Activities

    Author: Adrienne Tacke

    As its name suggests, this book is also one of the best Python project books as it entails 50 awesome games and fun activities that kids must learn to master Python programming. It is replete with helpful examples and all other basic building blocks of Python programming required to create fun games.

    More interestingly, kids will not only learn to write code in Python but also to debug it and observe the results in real time. Each chapter ends with an interactive activity to test kids' knowledge. In addition, each chapter comes with colorful illustrations and screenshots that help kids learn faster.

    About the Author

    Adrienne Tacke is a writer, software engineer, and STEM education advocate. She primarily encourages people of all ages, especially young girls and women, to pursue a career in software engineering.

    Publisher: Rockridge Press

    Paperback Print Length: 232 pages

    You can buy the book from here .

    18. Creative Coding in Python: 30+ Programming Projects in Art, Games, and More

    Author: Sheena Vaidyanathan

    Creative Coding in Python is yet another book that entails various Python projects for kids. With more than 30 projects, the author teaches kids of ages 10 to 12 how to code in a simple and easy way.

    Besides this, the author explains the concepts of computer programming and the computational thinking process in this book through flowcharts, illustrations, and pseudocode.

    Some popular projects and the essential concepts required to accomplish them covered in this book are as follows:

    • Chatbots
    • Geometric art
    • Interactive fiction
    • Dice games
    • Arcade games

    About the Author

    Sheena Vaidyanathan is the Computer Science Integration Specialist in the Los Altos School District. She takes Python classes for 11-13-year old students. She is also the director of computer science professional development programs at Krause Center for Innovation.

    Publisher: Quarry Books

    Paperback Print Length: 144 pages

    You can buy the book from here .

    Free Python Books

    Let us now get familiar with the best Python books online you can download easily without spending a single dime.

    19. Learning with Python

    Author: Allen Downey, Jeff Elkner, and Chris Meyers

    Learning with Python is one of the best Python books that are readily available online. It is intended for beginners with little to no programming knowledge. This book has a total of 20 sections, where the initial sections talk about basic programming concepts.

    As you move forward, the book walks you through the basic concepts of Python, including variables, data types, numbers, strings, functions, expressions, fruitful functions, lists, and tuples. In the later sections, you will get familiar with advanced concepts, such as linked lists, classes, objects, methods, stacks, queues, trees, etc.

    More interestingly, this book is available in various formats, such as PDF, postscript, gzipped tar file, and HTML. You can find the translation of the book in various languages, including German, Spanish, Italian, and Czech.

    Publisher: Green Tea Press

    Book PDF Length: 280 pages

    20. A Byte of Python

    Author: C.H. Swaroop

    A Byte of Python is yet another free comprehensive guide to learning Python. Initially, the author talks about what exactly the readers will learn in the book. Later, he walks you through the introduction of Python and how it evolved. With a detailed introduction, the author then makes you familiar with all the basic Python concepts, along with examples, to have a better understanding.

    Moreover, this book talks about everything about the Python 3 version. It is available in more than 26 languages, including German, Spanish, Swedish, French, Chinese, Portuguese, and Russian.

    To read this book, you can download the PDF or EPUB files.

    You can even buy a hard copy of this book here .

    About the Author

    C.H. Swaroop is a staff engineer in the Machine Learning Platform team at DoorDash in San Francisco.

    Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

    Length: 162 pages


    Despite being one of the slowest programming languages, Python is used for computational, data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence projects . This is because of the fact that Python comes with an extensive range of libraries and frameworks . Also, learning Python can be a great decision as this programming language is used in a wide range of domains. Thus the job opportunities are massive.

    The Python books that we have mentioned above are the best ones available in the market right now. If you are a beginner, you can choose beginner-friendly books, like Head-First Python, Python Crash Course, and Learning Python. On the other hand, if you are already familiar with Python fundamentals, you can go for books like Fluent Python: Clear, Concise, and Effective Programming and Python in a Nutshell.

    People are also reading:


    Yes, Head First Python is one of the best Python books for beginners because it covers all the basic concepts of Python programming. Anyone interested in learning Python can opt for this book.

    Python is one of the most popular general-purpose programming languages for creating web applications and software applications, automating tasks, performing data analysis, and data visualization. Moreover, according to the TOIBE index 2022, it stands at the top position among all other languages. So, learning Python is definitely worth it.

    The average salary of entry-level or junior Python developers in the United States is $80K per annum, while mid-level Python developers receive $112K per year and senior Python developers earn $130K per annum.

    To learn all the concepts of Python from the ground up and get familiar with various Python technologies, you may require two to five months. However, learning to write simple Python programs is just a matter of hours.

    Yes, you can learn Python in a month. It is possible with a proper study plan, proper resources, and a strong passion for learning the language.

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