What are the best Python books in 2016?

So you think about learning Python? Stop thinking about it – start doing it! Many beginners ask themselves: What would be a good programming language to start with!? Wouldn’t it be better to learn Java – since many enterprises are developing their apps in Java!? What about Ruby? What about Go / C++ / C# or JavaScript? There are so many options. In this article I compare a list of the current best python books – especially for beginners.

best python book in 2016


I am working in IT business since 1999. From my experience, Python is one of the best things that you should start learning today. In those years I have been working with Java, C++, PHP, bash, Perl, Assembler, Powershell, Javascript and more. Python is definitely my favourite language. It is just so intuitive and simple. Compared to others, it requires a very lean development environment and has very little overhead. No compiling and deploying every 10 minutes, no complex application servers, easy debugging and testing. It comes with very powerful libraries and frameworks – for example Django – an excellent framework for web development. It has great support from a strong community. It runs on almost every platform … and last but not least – many new tools that come up are written in Python. One great example for this is Ansible, which is one of the best DevOps tools available today.


Best Python books for beginners

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The following 2 books are really written for beginners. They are motivating and fun to read. I can really recommend them.


Book Description Image
1. Automate the Boring Stuff with Python: Practical Programming for Total Beginners
– Al Sweigart

Publishing Year – May 1, 2015
Designed and written for beginners. It is really fun to follow this book (or the corresponding online course). Automate the Boring Stuff with Python provides a fresh new perspective in to the world of the Python programming language. It starts with essential skills and concepts that build up the solid foundation in general programming laced with enough examples to understand and gradually moves up with various tools and concepts that are necessary to implement real world applications. It focuses on basics of expressions, flow control, lists, functions, and dictionaries, data structuring and manipulating strings. Automate the Boring Stuff with Python
2. Learn Python in One Day and Learn It Well: Python for Beginners with Hands-on Project. The only book you need to start coding in Python immediately
– Jamie Chan

Publishing Year – Januar 2015
A very simple and fast introduction to programming and python. It comes with a lot of examples and is fun to read and follow. If you are not sure if python is for you – this could be your book to get a fast first impression. If you already know other programming languages or have played with python before – this book might be too “basic” for you. Learn Python in One Day and Learn It Well

More advanced books

The following books are also a great source to learn Python. Anyway they require more experience or are a bit more “academical” than the first 2.

Book Description Image
3. Black Hat Python
– Justin Seitz

Publishing Year – December 14, 2014
For people who want to learn python AND improve their security skills. Really interesting to read and to follow the examples. (even if you are not a hacker) Black Hat Python is a great handbook for hackers and penetration testers that helps them to create better hacking tools using the Python programming language. The book explores the dark side of the programming language and how hackers and penetration testers can write better networking sniffers, manipulate packets, infect virtual machines and create stealthy Trojans. It also highlights how to use offensive memory forensic tricks to retrieve password hashes and to inject shellcode. Black Hat Python
4. Python Cookbook
– David Beazley

Publishing Year – June 1, 2013
This book is for intermediate level Python programmers who would want to write programs in Python 3 and update older Python 2 code. The book is laced with practical recipes and information for those who want to focus on modern tools and idioms. It covers all the basic elements and other topics like data structure and algorithms, iterators and generators, data encoding and processing, functions, classes and objects, files and I/O, modules and packages, utility scripting and system administration.
5. A Byte of Python
– Swaroop C H

Publishing Year – September 29, 2013
A Byte of Python is mainly targeted at newbies or beginner level programmers learning more about Python. It serves as a freely available handbook for effective Python programming in an easy to learn way. It also serves those who are an expert programmer in C, Perl, Java and C# allowing them to learn the basics of Python. It provides an easy way to get accustomed with the syntax of the language through examples. It encourages the reader to write simple scripts and focus on meaningful programs after a certain level. A byte of Python - best python books
6. Think Python: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist
– Allen Downey

Publishing Year – August 23, 2012
Think Python is an introductory book for those who want to learn Python programming language. It starts with the basic concept of the language and gradually moves up with each concept explained. The book basically works for those who are working on Python 2 and Python 3 and it also points out the difference between the two. The book also explores on how to work with files and databases and learn values, variables, functions, statements, and data structure in a logical way. It provides better understanding of object oriented programming and use debugging techniques to fix errors.
7. Head First Python
– Paul Barry

Publishing Year – November 2010
Head First Python is a great way to get introduced to Python programming language. It offers an easy way to the programmers to understand the codes and syntax of the language with simple examples. It focuses on the lists, modules of function, saving data to files, bundling code with data in the initial pages and later moves to web development, small Android devices, managing data input, hosting your app on the web and other complexities.
8. Violent Python: A Cookbook for Hackers, Forensic Analysts, Penetration Testers, and Security Engineers
– T.J. O’Connor

Publishing Year – November 22, 2012
Violent Python is not meant for beginners, but for those who want to know how to move from a theoretical understanding of concepts to practical implementation. It definitely is one of the best Python books available. It focuses on how you can create your own tools using Python programming language and write Python scripts to automate large network attacks, investigate forensic artefacts and extract meta data. It also explores how to write codes to intercept and analyze network traffic using Python and how to evade modern anti-virus systems effectively.


Ok, this was my list of the best python books in 2016. What is your favourite book about python? Leave a comment below …