Category Archives: Books

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

Python 201 Book Outline

Over the weekend, I spent some time rearranging ideas for my latest book such that I have have four specific sections of the book. Here they are:

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

Part III – Web

  • Chapter 16 – Web scraping
  • Chapter 17 – Working with web APIs
  • Chapter 18 – ftplib
  • Chapter 19 – urllib / httplib (client / server)

Part IV – Testing

  • Chapter 20 – Doctest
  • Chapter 21 – unittest
  • Chapter 22 – mock
  • Chapter 23 – coverage.py

I want to note that these are just the topics that will absolutely be included. I may add others. I will also be adding others should I reach my stretch goal. If you’re interested in getting early access to the book or just want to support the blog, you can do so at my Kickstarter for Python 201!

ANN: Python 201 Book Kickstarter

I am happy to announce my latest project, which is the sequel to my Python 101 book: Python 201 – Intermediate Python. I am launching a Kickstarter campaign to help fund its publication so if you’re interested in supporting, you can do so here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/34257246/python-201-intermediate-python

If you already know the basics of Python and now you want to go to the next level, then this is the book for you! This book is for intermediate level Python programmers only. There won’t be any beginner chapters here.

Note: This book will be covering Python 3

Here are some of the topics covered:

  • generators / iterators
  • Functional idioms (map, filter, reduce).
  • Writing your own context managers.
  • Command-line argument processing
  • collections
  • itertools
  • functools
  • Function Overloading
  • Basics of regular expressions
  • httplib / urllib (client / server)
  • web scraping
  • Basics of Unicode (encoding and codecs)
  • Timing code (benchmarking)
  • Testing (unit tests, doc tests, mock, coverage)

Book Review: Python Playground – Geeky Projects for the Curious Programmer

No Starch Press recently sent me a book called Python Playground: Geeky Projects for the Curious Programmer by Mahesh Venkitachalam to review. I don’t normally get books from that publisher so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the book is quite good. But I won’t provide any spoilers here as we have a quick review to do!


Quick Review

  • Why I picked it up: I got it for free, but the description of the book made me want to get it too.
  • Why I finished it: It’s very well written and the projects are definitely geeky and fun.
  • I’d give it to: A programmer who is also a math nerd or who just wants ideas for a new, fun project.

Continue reading Book Review: Python Playground – Geeky Projects for the Curious Programmer

Book Review: Mastering Python High Performance

Packt Publishing recently sent me a copy of Mastering Python High Performance by Fernando Doglio. They also had me be a technical reviewer of the book before its publication. Anyway let’s do a quick review and if you think it sounds interesting, you can check out my full review too!


Quick Review

  • Why I picked it up: I got it for free, but I did find the title intriguing.
  • Why I finished it: As a technical reviewer of the book, I had to read it all the way through. However, it has a lot of interesting concepts and it was short.
  • I’d give it to: Someone who needs to learn about how to increase their Python code’s efficiency.

Continue reading Book Review: Mastering Python High Performance

eBook Review: Intermediate Python

I was recently approached by the author of the free eBook, Intermediate Python by Muhammad Yasoob Ullah Khalid to review his work. Yasoob is the fellow behind the Python Tips blog. The book has been released as open source on Github but can be downloaded as a PDF from ReadTheDocs. But before I go into too much detail about the book, here’s my quick review:


Quick Review

  • Why I picked it up: I was asked by the author to read the book.
  • Why I finished it: I read through a lot of the book and skimmed the rest, actually
  • I’d give it to: A beginner who wants to learn a bit more about the Python language

Continue reading eBook Review: Intermediate Python

Python 101 Sale

My first book, Python 101 is on sale this month. You can get it on Amazon US for $5.99 or you can buy it for 50% off via my website. To get 50% off, just enter the following offer code at checkout: may50

Python 101 50% Off

For the rest of March, you can get my book, Python 101 for 50% off if you use the following code: march15

Learn how to program with Python from beginning to end. My book is made primarily for beginners. However, at least two-thirds of it is aimed at intermediate programmers. You may be wondering how that works. The book will be split into four parts.

Part One

The first part is the beginner section. In it you will learn all the basics of Python. From Python types (strings, lists, dictionaries) to conditional statements to loops. You will also learn about comprehensions, functions and classes and everything in between! Note: This section has been completed and is in the editing phase.

Part Two

This section will be a curated tour of the Python Standard Library. The intent isn’t to cover everything in it, but instead it is to show the reader that you can do a lot with Python right out of the box. We’ll be covering the modules I find the most useful in day-to-day programming tasks, such as os, sys, logging, threads, and more.

Part Three

This section is all intermediate level material. It covers the following:

  • lambda
  • decorators
  • properties
  • debugging
  • testing
  • profiling

Part Four

Now things get really interesting! In part four, we will be learning how to install 3rd party libraries (i.e. packages) from the Python Package Index and other locations. We will cover easy_install and pip. This section will also be a series of tutorials where you will learn how to use the packages you download. For example, you will learn how to download a file, parse XML, use an Object Relational Mapper to work with a database, etc.

Part Five

The last section of the book will cover how to share your code with your friends and the world! You will learn how to package it up and share it on the Python Package Index (i.e. how to create an egg or wheel). You will also learn how to create executables using py2exe, bb_freeze, cx_freeze and PyInstaller. Finally you will learn how to create an installer using Inno Setup.

eBook Review: Flask Framework Cookbook

Packt Publishing recently sent me a copy of the eBook version of Flask Framework Cookbook by Shalabh Aggarwal. I didn’t read it in its entirety as Cookbooks don’t usually make for a very interesting linear read. I just went through it and cherry picked various recipes. But before I get into too much detail, let’s do the quick review!


Quick Review

  • Why I picked it up: I was asked by the publisher to read the book.
  • Why I finished it: As already mentioned, I actually just skimmed the book and read random recipes
  • I’d give it to: Someone who is new to Flask or possibly an intermediate Flask developer

Continue reading eBook Review: Flask Framework Cookbook

$5 Python Books from Packt

Packt Publishing recently contacted me to let me know that they’re having a $5 sale on their website for all their eBooks and Videos. Since they have a LOT of different Python and Python-related books, I thought my readers might want to know about that sale. Here’s their press release:

5 Dollar - Social Media

Following the success of last year’s festive offer, Packt Publishing will be celebrating the holiday season with an even bigger $5 offer.  From Thursday 18th December, every eBook and video will be available on the publisher’s website for just $5. Customers are invited to purchase as many as they like before the offer ends on Tuesday January 6th, making it the perfect opportunity to try something new or to take your skills to the next level as 2015 begins. With all $5 products available in a range of formats and DRM-free, customers will find great value content delivered exactly how they want it across Packt’s website this Xmas and New Year.

Find out more at www.packtpub.com/packt5dollar

eBook Review: IPython Notebook Essentials

This week, Packt Publishing asked me to review IPython Notebook Essentials by L. Felipe Martins. They sent me an eBook copy to review. I’ve always been interesting in learning about the IPython Notebook, but had never gotten around to it, so this seemed like a great way to learn more.


Quick Review

  • Why I picked it up: I was asked by the publisher to read the book.
  • Why I finished it: I only read the Notebook sections of the book. The rest I just skimmed.
  • I’d give it to: Someone who already knows Python and is a data scientist

Continue reading eBook Review: IPython Notebook Essentials