Entries tagged with “Book Review”.


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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I recently received a copy of Kivy: Interactive Applications in Python by Roberto Ulloa. This is currently the only book about Kivy. Kivy is a cross-platform GUI toolkit that will run on Linux, Windows, and OS X as well as Android and iOS. In fact, the people behind Kivy emphasize that this is aimed primarily at mobile programming. Kivy supports multitouch and has a very active group of programmers. You can read more about Kivy on their project’s home page. I will be reviewing the PDF version of the book.

Here’s my quick review for those of you without a lot of time:

Quick Review

  • Why I picked it up: I received this book as payment for helping with the reviewing of another Packt book, but I would have bought it myself because I am interested in learning Python for Android/iOS and I like learning about Python GUI toolkits.
  • Why I finished it: The book is short and I was optimistic that it would get better.
  • I’d give it to: Someone who already knows Python and the basics of Kivy, although I don’t think I would recommend it.

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There aren’t very many Tkinter books in existence, which is something I’ve always found a little odd as it is the GUI toolkit that is included with Python. Basically you have Grayson’s Python and Tkinter Programming from 2000 or Roseman’s Modern Tkinter for Busy Python Developers from 2012. I reviewed the latter here, if you’re interested. There are other books that include Tkinter programming (like Core Python or Programming Python), but those texts are not Tkinter focused books. This brings us to 2013′s release of Tkinter GUI Application Development HOTSHOT by Bhaskar Chaudhary, the 3rd book about Tkinter in the last 13 years! Today, you can read my review of this interesting book.

Full disclosure: Packt Publishing asked me to be a technical reviewer of this book, so I received a free copy after the review process was finished.

Here’s the quick review for those of you without a lot of time:

Quick Review

  • Why I picked it up: Technically, I didn’t as I received it as “payment” for helping edit the book, but I would have picked it up just because there are so few Tkinter books and I find GUI programming a fascinating subject.
  • Why I finished it: The book has lots of fun fully-functional applications, so I kept reading just to see what the author would come up with next.
  • I’d give it to: Programmers that want to jump into GUI application development feet first – this book has lots of good examples of applications without the spaghetti code!

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I recently received my copy of Real Python by Fletcher Heisler and just finished reading it. I got it as a bonus from a recent KickStarter campaign for the sequel to the book, Real Python for Web Development which is actually written by someone else. You can go to the book’s website to purchase the book and get access to the files that the book talks about. I’ll be reviewing revision 2.2, as that was what I got when I downloaded it a couple weeks ago. It appears that there’s been an update since then though. This is the first Python book I’ve ever read that focuses on Python 2.7.3, although it does mention some differences in Python 3 as it goes along.

Quick Review

  • Why I picked it up: I got this book as part of the perks received from its sequel’s Kickstarter campaign.
  • Why I finished it: The book had an engaging writing style
  • I’d give it to: Programmers new to the Python language

If that intro interested you at all, feel free to join me after the jump to read the full review! (more…)

Last week, Matt Harrison sent me a copy of his latest Python eBook entitled Treading on Python Vol 2: Intermediate Python. I was intrigued since I rarely get to read Intermediate level Python books. In fact, I would say that some of the stuff that the author talks about goes into the advanced level. Anyway, I thought it was a pretty good little book and if you have a moment, I’ll tell you why.

Quick Review

  • Why I picked it up: As I mentioned, the fact that it was an intermediate level book made this a must-read for me.
  • Why I finished it: Because the book proved to be very interesting.
  • I’d give it to: Python programmers who have a good understanding of the basics but are looking to grow in their Python skills.

Now if you have a few more minutes, you can read my full review after the jump! (more…)

A couple months ago, I was contacted by John Rowland. He is the author of the brand new eBook Learn Python Quickly and he was contacting me about using one of my blog articles as the basis for one of his examples in his book. This one to be exact. Anyway, I told him I would review his book when it came out. Anyway, the book came out a couple weeks ago and here is my review. Note: I managed to snag a copy of this when it was free, which was the second day it was on sale, I think.

Quick Review

  • Why I picked it up: I picked this one up because first I was intrigued that someone wanted to use one of my articles in their book and secondly, I got a sneak peak of a couple of the chapters and enjoyed the author’s writing style. Also, picking it up for free helped!
  • Why I finished it: Because I wanted to review the book. I only read the main text though and only skimmed the rather extensive glossary / appendices.
  • I’d give it to: New programmers, especially if they already had a little programming already, like a 101 class.

You can read my full review after the jump!

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I was approached by a representative from No Starch Press, the publisher of Python For Kids, to review their book. They provided me with a free dead tree copy and an eBook (PDF) version. This book appears to be in direct competition with Manning’s Hello World! Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners by Sande. I’ll do a quick review and then you can read the more detailed review after the jump if you’re still interested.

Quick Review

  • Why I picked it up: Primarily because I asked by the publisher to read it. However, I find these extreme beginner books interesting in their own right. I just didn’t want to spend my own money on it. It’s also a Python 3 book!
  • Why I finished it: Actually, I didn’t finish it. The book is quite good, but it’s a beginner book and I ended up skimming it after I read about halfway through. But this is a well written book with an engaging writing style.
  • I’d give it to: I would give this book to someone with kids in high school who are interested in programming in general or Python specifically.

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This week I bought Rick Copeland’s MongoDB with Python and Ming eBook from Amazon. It just came out in July 2012, so I figured I should check it out and see what all the fuss is with MongoDB and the whole NoSQL fad.

Quick Review

  • Why I picked it up: Mainly because I’ve been interested in MongoDB for a while, the book was reasonably priced and I’ve read a little of his SQLAlchemy book. I think I may have even met the guy at PyCon a couple years ago too.
  • Why I finished it: I almost always try to finish a book, especially if I’m going to review it. This one was hard though.
  • I’d give it to: Someone who needed a quick text to get them up to speed on MongoDB and Ming

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