Top 12 Python Books for Beginners & Experienced Programmers
Anyone interested in coding would do well to learn Python. Originally named after the hit sketch comedy troupe Monty Python, this programming language is at the heart of many important algorithms and software across the globe.
That’s why we’ve compiled the best books for learning Python, from first-time beginners to the more experienced computer scientists looking to learn Python tricks. Keep reading for a Python crash course and get ready to start programming Python with the tools and guidance you need to succeed.
What is Python and why do we use it?
Python is an extremely popular open-source programming language that was launched to the computer science world in 1992— and many software developers use it as a support language in their work. Python programming language is object-oriented, which means it organizes software design around data.
For programmers, Python is versatile and can be used for a broad range of applications, including:
- Creating websites
- Developing software
- Supporting data analysis
- Building data visualization
- Writing data structures
- Machine learning
- Automating tasks
- Spearheading design
The basic framework of Python makes it more accessible for beginners, as well as customizable for many different needs. Because this programming language wasn’t developed for one sole purpose, any data scientist or computer science professional — and anyone interested in learning to use it — has a large amount of freedom in rapid development when using Python.
Best Python programming books for beginners
Learning Python is extremely beneficial for computer programming newcomers — and it’s easy to learn with the right book. The simple syntax of Python code is similar to the English language, so determining what each line of code means is common sense for English language speakers. It’s also an in-demand skill inside and outside of the computer science world.
What is the best Python book for you? Below are our top picks to help you learn Python and become a skilled programmer:
A Concise Introduction to Programming in Python by Mark J. Johnson. Whether for classroom or self-study purposes, this book is written to provide readers with a hands-on introduction to Python code. Designed for those with no prior programming experience, this text breaks down the core principles and key concepts to understanding Python language. It also offers accessible examples, Python exercises and Python projects to show how Python can be used for finance, biology, image processing and textual analysis. For those who want to dive deeper into this programming language, the book also includes optional additional related topics to explore.Find Out More
A Functional Start to Computing with Python by Ted Herman. This book is a Python essential reference for new students. It enables readers to learn computing without the use of “loops, variables, and object abstractions at the start.” Get started almost immediately by defining new functions and learning the most important concepts of computing, from software engineering to advanced functional programming ideas. The book then builds on this knowledge to introduce more complex ideas to help students build their knowledge and understand assignment syntax and iteration. It also comes with access to a supplementary website with chapter-by-chapter guides and tools.Find Out More
Discovering Computer Science by Jessen Havill. Written for computer science newcomers, this introductory book is a great resource for computational problem-solving and programming in Python. Each section of this book presents a key authentic problem from the natural and social sciences and digital humanities to show students how to find effective Python solutions. As the book progresses, the problems become more complex and require more computer science principles, such as abstraction, efficiency, testing and algorithmic techniques.Find Out More
Making Music with Computers by Bill Manaris and Andrew R. Brown. Learning Python isn’t limited to engineering and computer scientists — it can also be a key tool for many music creators. As computers have evolved, music students can now use Python code to show their audio creativity through computer science. Each section of this book uses music-creation activities to showcase fundamental Python programming concepts. This includes data types, algorithms, operators, iterations, lists, functions and classes.Find Out More