Best reads: Python programming

By Russell Barnes. Posted

Python is a great first programming language, but you need to choose a book that matches your learning style. Find out which of our five essential Python programming books suits you…

Learn Python the Hard Way (Third Edition)

Python-the-hard-way Author: Zed Shaw Publisher: Addison Wesley Price: £24.99 (free online) ISBN: 978-0321884916

The “hard way” is typing it all in until you absorb the syntax and spot mistakes. Works well, but Shaw doesn’t cover Python 3.

Program Arcade Games: With Python and Pygame


Author: Dr. Paul Vincent Craven Publisher: CreateSpace Price: £21.99 (free online) ISBN: 978-1500825966

Balances games and programming exercises to keep the learner going. Very popular: available in several languages on the website.

Writing Idiomatic Python 3.3


Author: Jeff Knupp Publisher: CreateSpace Price: £13.97 ISBN: 978-1482374810

Get pythonic from the start: concise guide to idiomatic code; best after another text, but suits some brave learners.

Dive Into Python 3


Author: Mark Pilgrim Publisher: APress Price: £35.49 (free online) ISBN: 978-1430224150

Dives straight into code then the explanations follow. A concise but comprehensive start that will appeal to independent study types.

Learning Python – 5th Edition


Author: Mark Lutz Publisher: O’Reilly Price: £43.50 ISBN: 978-1449355739

Comprehensive doorstop (1600 pages); great for programmers new to Python and (Object Orientation). Covers Python 2.7 and 3.3.