John Cook is an applied mathematician working in Houston, Texas. His career has been a blend of research, software development, consulting, and management. John is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 169 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Python Book Recommendations

09.07.2012
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People sometimes ask me to recommend a book for learning to program, or a book on Python. If you want both in one book -- to learn Python as a first programming language -- take a look at Allen Downey’s new book Think Python.

If you’re an experienced programmer and just want a book on the specifics of Python, I’d recommend David Beazley’s Python Essential Reference.

These two books are at opposite ends of the scale. Downey’s book is a very gentle introduction to programming. He takes the time to explain things that authors often don’t realize need to be explained. Beazley's Python Essential Reference is all about Python, not programming essentials. The title says “reference,” and it does make a good reference, but you could sit down and read through the first half of the book. The second half is really more of a reference.

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