Dead Simple Python, by Jason C. McDonald
Readers may initially see the title of this book and think it entails a “for dummies” type presentation of Python. Not at all. McDonald, a software engineer, has written a +700-page treatise on Python that is aimed at people who already are familiar with some other software language but who want to do something real with Python—and want to get up to speed with the language as quickly as possible.
It is sometimes said that Python is easy to learn but hard to master. That’s probably why McDonald spends only about 50 pages on Python syntax and a little over 20 pages on Python variables. That said, there is a good amount of basic information in the book presented with few assumptions about the reader’s prior programming background. For example, McDonald takes the time to explain what makes Python a functional language, not obvious to those only familiar with procedural or object-oriented languages.
The book’s emphasis on doing real work comes out when it focuses on some of the more advanced aspects of Python. About 20 pages go toward project structure and another 30 on functions and lambdas. Data flow topics have over 160 pages of explanations. And in keeping with the book’s aim of getting readers ready to do real work, advanced topics such as concurrency and synchrony, metaclasses, threading and parallelism get another 130 pages of explanation.
In that this book targets prospective Python developers, there’s also a section covering specific types of development tasks: application development, game development, web development, data science, and so forth. Ditto for developing Python extensions and tools.
All in all, Dead Simple Python probably isn’t a book for nudniks but makes a good starting point for those contemplating a serious Python effort and who need to start with the basics.