Category Archives: Books

Books that I’ve read, reviewed or cited for this article

Book Review: Murach’s Python Programming

I review books for the i-programmer website from time to time and they recently gave me a copy of Murach’s Python Programming by Michael Urban and Joel Murach. This book is long at almost 600 pages and it’s pretty expensive for the paperback. For those of you with short attention spans, I give you the Quick Review. For those who would like something a bit more in-depth, you will need to click through to see the rest.


Quick Review

  • Why I picked it up: In this case, because i-programming asked me to
  • Why I finished it: Because this book is well written and fairly interesting
  • I’d give it to: Someone who wants to learn Python

Continue reading Book Review: Murach’s Python Programming

Python 101 Now FREE on Leanpub Permanently

After the amazing response I had when I made Python 101 free for a few days a couple of months ago (see here, I have decided to make it free (or Pay What You Want) permanently on Leanpub (PDF, mobi and epub):

Note: I am still selling it on Amazon, Gumroad and Lulu

Now you can check it for free any time you like. If you happen to like the book, I would appreciate it if you could drop a review of it over on Amazon or contact me about doing a Reader Testimonial on Leanpub since they don’t have an automatic way to leave one of those.

When I originally wrote the book, I noticed that there were few or no books available that described how to create executables of your code or distribute your code via Python’s Package Index (PyPI). Python 101 covers these topics as well as introducing the reader to Python’s standard library, how to install 3rd party packages and an introduction to some of the most popular 3rd party packages for Python, such as SQLAlchemy, requests and virtualenv.

Python 101 has 5 sections, 44 chapters and 295 pages.

Here’s some coupons for my other books in case anyone is interested:

Python 101 is now a Course on Educative

My first book, Python 101, has been made into an online course on the educative website. Educative is kind of like Code Academy in that you can run the code snippets from the book to see what kind of output they produce. You can edit the examples that are executable, but you cannot save your edits currently. You can get 50% off of the course by using the following coupon code: au-pythonlibrary50 (note: This coupon is only good for one week)

Python 101 is for primarily aimed at people who have an understanding of programming concepts or who have programmed with another language already. I do have a lot of readers that are completely new to programming who have enjoyed the book too though. The book itself is split into 5 distinct parts:

Part one covers the basics of Python. Part two moves into learning a little of Python’s standard library. In this section, I cover the libraries that I find myself using the most on a day-to-day basis. Part three moves into intermediate level territory and covers various topics such as decorators, debugging, code profiling and testing your code. Part four introduces the reader to installing 3rd party libraries and briefly demonstrates some of the popular ones, such as lxml, requests, SQLAlchemy and virtualenv. The last section is all about distributing your code. Here you will learn how to add your code to Python Package Index as well as create Windows executables.

For a full table of contents, you can visit the book’s web page here. Educative also has a really good contents page for the online course too.

wxPython Cookbook Artist Interview: Liza Tretyakova

I always put a lot of thought into the covers of my book. For my first book on wxPython, I thought it would be fun to do a cookbook because I already had a lot of recipes on my blog. So I went with the idea of doing a cookbook. For the cover, my first thought was to have some kind of kitchen scene with mice cooks. Then I decided that was too obvious and decided to go with the idea of an Old West cover with cowboy (or cow mice) cooking at a fire.

I asked Liza Tretyakova, my cover artist for wxPython Cookbook, to do a quick interview about herself. Here is what she had to say:

Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):

My name is Liza Tretyakova, I’m a free-lance illustrator currently working in Moscow.

Education:

  • Moscow State University, Faculty of History of Arts
  • BA(Hons) Illustration, University of Plymouth


I work as an illustrator for about 10 years. I love horses and I used to have a horse. Also I’m interested in archery. I like reading and spending a lot of time with my daughter Yara, who is 7 years old.

What motivated you to be an illustrator versus some other profession?

Since I was a child I have been drawing all the time and it just happened that I started to work as an illustrator, it turned into a profession.

What process do you go through when you are creating a new piece of art?

It is different every time, there is no specific “recipe” 🙂

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to be an illustrator?

You should try to draw every day, the more the better.

Do you have anything else you would like to say?

It was a pleasure working with you!

Thanks so much for doing the interview and for agreeing to be my illustrator for my wxPython Cookbook.

You can see more of Liza’s work on Behance.

wxPython Cookbook is Officially Released!

I recently finished up Mmy third book, wxPython Cookbook and I am officially releasing it today. My wxPython Cookbook is my longest book yet, clocking in at over 340 pages and over 50 recipes. I have a full table of contents on Leanpub for anyone who is interested in the nitty gritty details.

Here are the current places that you can get a copy of the book:

Thanks so much to all my readers and Kickstarter backers who have encouraged me throughout the writing process.

Holiday Sale on Python Books

It’s the holiday season so I am putting all my books on sale starting today. The sale will run through December 23rd. You can purchase any of my books for $6.99 on Gumroad or Leanpub. I’m actually recommending Leanpub now as I find its user interface much easier to navigate for my readers, but if you already have a Gumroad account, then feel free to use that.

You will receive the books in PDF, mobi and epub from both Leanpub and Gumroad.

Here are the links:

Gumroad

Leanpub

Softcover editions

I have 10 more copies of the first run of Python 201: Intermediate Python that you can now purchase. You will also receive the digital versions of the book. Note that the first run had a mistake in the asyncio chapter that has been rectified in the digital copies. The future versions of the paperback will be fixed soon.

Python 201 is the Featured Book on Leanpub Today

Leanpub is featuring my second book on their homepage today:

py201_featured_leanpub

You can get the book for 50% off until tomorrow by using the following link: http://leanpub.com/python201/c/50percent

Python 201 covers the following topics:

Part I – Intermediate Modules

  • Chapter 1 – The argparse module
  • Chapter 2 – The collections module
  • Chapter 3 – The contextlib module (Context Managers)
  • Chapter 4 – The functools module (Function overloading, caching, etc)
  • Chapter 5 – All about imports
  • Chapter 6 – The importlib module
  • Chapter 7 – The itertools module
  • Chapter 8 – The re module (An Intro to Regex in Python)
  • Chapter 9 – The typing module (Type Hinting)

Part II – Odds and Ends

  • Chapter 10 – generators / iterators
  • Chapter 11 – map, filter, reduce
  • Chapter 12 – unicode
  • Chapter 13 – benchmarking
  • Chapter 14 – encryption
  • Chapter 15 – Connecting to databases
  • Chapter 16 – super
  • Chapter 17 – descriptors (magic methods)
  • Chapter 18 – Scope (local, global and the new non_local)

Part III – Web

  • Chapter 19 – Web scraping
  • Chapter 20 – Working with web APIs
  • Chapter 21 – ftplib
  • Chapter 22 – urllib / httplib (client / server)

Part IV – Testing

  • Chapter 23 – Doctest
  • Chapter 24 – unittest
  • Chapter 25 – mock
  • Chapter 26 – coverage.py

Python 101 is FREE for 48 hours!

Today I am releasing my first book, Python 101, for free for 48 hours. Python 101 was written as an introduction to the Python programming language. While it is intended for beginners, some have claimed that they needed more hand-holding than this book provided for them. So I currently recommend it as an introductory and intermediate book for developers that are looking to learn Python.

When I originally wrote the book, I noticed that there were few or no books available that described how to create executables of your code or distribute your code via Python’s Package Index (PyPI). Python 101 covers these topics as well as introducing the reader to Python’s standard library, how to install 3rd party packages and an introduction to some of the most popular 3rd party packages for Python, such as SQLAlchemy, requests and virtualenv.

Python 101 has 5 sections, 44 chapters and 295 pages.

You can get Python 101 for free on Leanpub using the following link: http://leanpub.com/python_101/c/48hours

If you happen to have a Gumroad account, then you’ll be able to get the book free there as well by using the following offer code: 48hours

You will get the PDF, epub and mobi versions of the book. You can see a full table of contents on the Leanpub site

If you like my first book, you can get its sequel, Python 201: Intermediate Python for 50% off here: http://leanpub.com/python201/c/50percent

PyDev of the Week: Al Sweigart

This week we welcome Al Sweigart as our PyDev of the Week. Al is the author of the PyAutoGUI and Pyperclip packages. He is also the author of several Python books such as:

He has also released a book on Scratch called Scratch Programming Playground. Al is quite well known in the Python world and his books have received really good reviews. Let’s take some time to get to know him better!

Could you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):

I was fortunate enough to be introduced to programming early on and then majored in computer science at UT Austin (“hook ’em!”) but I hate telling people this. A lot of folks think programming is something you have to have started in as a toddler in order to become proficient. The truth is everything I learned about programming in between the 3rd and 12th grade can be learned in a dozen free weekends.

Aside from coding, I like to write coding tutorials and record coding screencasts. I also volunteer at the San Francisco SPCA and Oakland’s video game museum, the MADE.

Continue reading PyDev of the Week: Al Sweigart

wxPython Cookbook Writing Update: Beta Version Available

I am happy to announce that I now have all the chapters for my latest book, wxPython Cookbook, ready to be checked out. I still consider the book to be in beta mode as I need to go through each chapter and check them over as much as possible this month, but I am also pretty confident that the book is over 90% complete. Some chapters still need a screenshot or two added and I also plan to add another chapter or two as well.

For those of you who like raw data, there are currently 51 recipes in the book + the introduction and installation chapters. There are over 300 pages of content, which is more than either of my previous books!

I hope to do some polishing this week by adding the missing screenshots and also writing a brand new chapter. I am also hoping to get some of the code examples into Github this week. I do apologize for the delay in getting that done. Life has been really crazy on my end.

You can get early access to the book on Leanpub and Gumroad. You will also receive the final product + updates if you purchase the book from either of those websites. You can also check out the original Kickstarter campaign to learn more about the book.

Thanks again for all your support!

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