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Best Open Source Python Books

If you have decided to use Python for learning programming in 2016, you won’t be disappointed with this list of best open source Python books. They will quickly guide you in the world of Python programming language, based on experience and knowledge our experts have acquired through using this language. Feel free to add your comments below about good references for learning or working with Python, or simply leave a link to your review of different books on Python!

Below is a list of the best Open Source Python books. This list has been carefully compiled by members of the Python community and by authors of specific books mentioned. We hope you will find it useful in choosing which books to buy.

Dive Into Python 3 by Mark Pilgrim

Dive Into Python 3

Dive Into Python 3 covers Python 3 and its differences from Python 2.

As in the original book, Dive Into Python, each chapter starts with a real, complete code sample, proceeds to pick it apart and explain the pieces, and then puts it all back together in a summary at the end.

This book includes:

  • Example programs completely rewritten to illustrate powerful new concepts now available in Python 3: sets, iterators, generators, closures, comprehensions, and much more.
  • A detailed case study of porting a major library from Python 2 to Python 3.
  • A comprehensive appendix of all the syntactic and semantic changes in Python 3.

The Hacker’s Guide to Python

by Julien Danjou (Recommended and reviewed by the author)

There are tons of books that teach the basics of Python. Once you read them, you’re usually familiar enough to start writing your first application. But then comes a ton of other questions about, how to organize your project, how to distribute it so others can use it, how to achieve decent performances, how to test, etc. The Hacker’s Guide to Python answers to all those questions and more by providing concrete answers to those issues. The author shares his 10+ years of experience with Python and provides ready-to-go solutions. The book is also illustrated with eight interviews from software engineers, CPython developers, and open source hackers.

Fundamentals of Python Programming by Richard L. Halterman

This book does not attempt to cover all the facets of the Python programming language. Experienced programmers should look elsewhere for books that cover Python in much more detail. The focus here is on introducing programming techniques and developing good habits. To that end, our approach avoids some of the more esoteric features of Python and concentrates on the programming basics that transfer directly to other imperative programming languages such as Java, C#, and C++ . We stick with the basics and explore more advanced features of Python only when necessary to handle the problem at hand.

Scaling Python

by Julien Danjou (Recommended and reviewed by the author)

While it’s easy to learn Python and start building applications with it, creating software that will work correctly for a large number of users is another story. Scaling Python focuses on writing largely scalable and highly-distributed Python applications. You’ll learn what works and what does not work when using Python to write your next big project. The book is illustrated with seven interviews with prominent open source developers who talk about their battlefield experience and give great advise.

Python for Everybody

The goal of this free Python Programming book is to provide an Informatics-oriented introduction to programming. The primary difference between a computer science approach and the Informatics approach taken in this book is a greater focus on using Python to solve data analysis problems common in the world of Informatics. The Python 2 version of the book is still available. You can download this free Python book in PDF, EPUB, and HTML format.

There is also a free course with the same title – Python for Everybody in Coursera which you can take along this book to learn better. The course is free-to-audit but you need to pay fees if you also need a certificate to show on your LinkedIn profile or resume.

free Python books

 Automate the Boring Stuff with Python by Al Sweigart

Automate the Boring Stuff with Python

In Automate the Boring Stuff with Python, you’ll learn how to use Python to write programs that do in minutes what would take you hours to do by hand-no prior programming experience required.

Once you’ve mastered the basics of programming, you’ll create Python programs that effortlessly perform useful and impressive feats of automation to:

  • Search for text in a file or across multiple files.
  • Create, update, move, and rename files and folders.
  • Search the Web and download online content.
  • Update and format data in Excel spreadsheets of any size.
  • Split, merge, watermark, and encrypt PDFs.
  • Send reminder emails and text notifications.
  • Fill out online forms.

Python 101

by Mike Driscoll (Recommended and reviewed by Adam Miller)

This book is great for newcomers, the content is approachable and the lessons teach idiomatic Python so that when a developer breaks out into the world from simple projects to more advanced topics, they are already coding stylistically how other Pythonistas will expect and code the reader encounters will (most likely) follow similar and familiar patterns. The book does a good job of covering the basics and offering the reader a solid foundation of knowledge.

Making Games with Python & Pygame by Al Sweigart

This book features seven different games that are clones of popular games that you’ve probably already played. The games are a lot more fun and interactive than the text-based games in Invent with Python, but are still fairly short. All of the programs are less than 600 lines long. This is pretty small when you consider that professional games you download or buy in a store can be hundreds of thousands of lines long. These games require an entire team of programmers and artists working with each other for months or years to make.

Hadoop with Python

Author: Zachary Radtka and Donald Miner
Hadoop is mostly written in Java, but that doesn’t exclude the use of other programming languages with this distributed storage and processing framework, particularly Python.  Zachary Radtka and Donald Miner, author of the O’Reilly book MapReduce Design Patterns, takes you through the basic concepts behind Hadoop, MapReduce, Pig, and Spark. He is a, which is based on his experiences as a MapReduce developer.

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Are you interested in open source Python books? Well, here is the best selection of open source Python books that have ever existed on Planet Python. 

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