Entries tagged with “Book Review”.


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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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Packt Publishing asked me to be a technical reviewer for one of their latest Python books, Mastering Object-Oriented Python by Steven Lott. This book is a sequel of sorts to their 2010 release, Python 3 Object Oriented Programming by Dusty Phillips, which I reviewed here.

Note: This book is explicitly for Python 3 developers and does NOT talk about Python 2 much at all.


Quick Review

  • Why I picked it up: I was asked by the publisher to be a part of editing the book, however this is just the sort of book I like to read
  • Why I finished it: It’s quite well written and you learn a lot about how the internals of classes work
  • I’d give it to: An intermediate Python programmer who wants to learn new things

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Kivy is a neat package that allows Python developers to create user interfaces on mobile devices. You can also deploy the applications to desktops too. This is the second book I’ve seen put out on the subject. The first book, Kivy – Interactive Applications in Python by Roberto Ulloa came out last year from Packt Publishing. This year, we have Dusty Phillips’ work, Creating Apps in Kivy from O’Reilly. I will be reviewing the PDF version of the book.


Quick Review

  • Why I picked it up:I picked this book up because I like the author’s previous work, Python 3 Object Oriented Programming
  • Why I finished it: The book is pretty short and it’s interesting
  • I’d give it to: Someone who already knows Python

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Last year, Packt Publishing asked me to be a technical reviewer for a book called Python High Performance Programming by Gabriele Lanaro. It was published in December, 2013. For those of you with short attention spans, I give you my short review:

Quick Review

  • Why I picked it up: I got it for free, but I would have picked it up because the subject matter interested me
  • Why I finished it: This book had lots of interesting tips that made me want to keep reading it
  • I’d give it to: Someone who wants to learn about optimizing their code

If that whetted your appetite (more…)

The people at Packt Publishing recently sent me an ebook copy of Raúl Garreta and Guillermo Moncecchi’s book, Learning scikit-learn: Machine Learning in Python to review. Machine learning isn’t a topic I’m very familiar with, but I gave the book a shot as it sounded interesting. I’ll start off with my quick review for those of you with little time:

Quick Review

  • Why I picked it up: This book was a review copy, but I’m actually interested in just about any Python programming book
  • Why I finished it: The book is well written and while I don’t understand a lot of it, the gist of the text was interesting…and I skimmed a lot.
  • I’d give it to: Someone who uses Python for scientific purposes or machine learning

If you found that intriguing, then feel free to read the full review! (more…)

A few years ago, a fellow named Zed Shaw created a website called Learn Python the Hard Way that a lot of people praised. The website is made up of lots of short exercises that help beginner programmers learn the various nuances of Python but in bit-sized chunks. He kept updating it from time to time and eventually Addison-Wesley turned it into a book by the same name. I was recently given a copy of the PDF version of the book to review. Here’s the quick version:

Quick Review

  • Why I picked it up: I received this book specifically to review it, although I was interested in reading it anyway just from what I’d heard about the site
  • Why I finished it: The book’s chapters are short…and technically, I skimmed a lot of it
  • I’d give it to: Someone who wants to learn Python and who has no previous experience with any other language

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