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A Python Reading List by Wesley Chun (informit.com)
72 points by boopsie on March 7, 2012 | hide | past | favorite | 12 comments

This looks less like a reading list and more like a lead-up to the author propping up his own book.

He completely fails to mention any of the more advanced Python books like Expert Python Programming or Pro Python and especially Lutz's Python Programming which seems to have exactly the same type of content as he's book (general knowledge about various python libraries).

What got me more was the massive overlap of some of those books.

A reading list should allow you to progress.

@mapleoin, @rhizome31, @wilduck: yep, that's another list, for "expert Python readers". i would like to add that at some point, but my editorial constraints were 1500 words or so. i'd also like to review all those before making suggestions too. i think you're right in that there's probably some overlap with mark's book, but our writing styles are very different (check Amazon reviews for more details), and i've tried to add more contemporary applications in this edition of Core Python.

@ashconnor: that's another valid type of reading list. in this one, i think i compiled 3 discrete lists instead of your more progressive idea, which is a good one. i'd like to see what's in your list. as far as the overlap is concerned, yes, you're right about that as far as the material goes, however the delivery is different and suited to a variety of reader types.

I wish someone would write a good book focused on more advanced aspects of the Python language: generators, metaclasses, descriptors, etc. From what I could tell from the reviews and TOC, some books such as Pro Python or Expert Python Programming seem to introduce those techniques, but it doesn't seem to be very in depth, and I don't need a book for the other topics they cover. There are a lot of blog posts about this but it's always based on toy examples, so while it's not hard to grasp how those techniques work by themselves, I fail to see how to use them in real-world projects. I'd love to read an in-depth guide on those techniques, with several examples of progressive complexity that solve real-world problems. I don't think it needs to be very long, but it probably needs to be well thought.

My favorite way to learn about something like metaclasses in python is to go to stackoverflow and search for '[python] metaclasses' then order by votes. Open up a few of the links that look interesting, and you'll get to see some good uses. In this case, you'll also end up with this awesome explanation near the top:


In practice, this works for a wide variety of topics.

Anyone have a good book which analyze the source code of Python? Or just describe how important/most-common-use functions/methods be implemented in Python?

Beautiful Code (O'Reilly, http://shop.oreilly.com/product/9780596510046.do) has a chapter on the dictionary implementation.

It's interesting that Wesley recommends both Dive Into Python and Learn Python the Hard Way.

Zed Shaw, the author of the latter, actually has a big rant on why he doesn't recommend Dive Into Python.


@kqr2: this is what led me to my opening remark on how different learning styles require different styles of writing ... believe it or not DiP has gotten good reviews... just check Amazon. the problem i alluded to is that it's not for everyone.

Here's are similar comparisons between my book and Mark's as documented by Eric Wilson both on his blog as well as in an Amazon review... see http://amazon.com/review/RKG44D8GQYLNL and http://wilsonericn.wordpress.com/2011/09/26 for details. So yes, some people don't like it, but to others, it's just what they needed.

I have gone a long way just using Mark Lutz' Learning Python and Programming Python, and looking up anything not covered in those two books.

I took a class from Wesley Chun on Python while at VMware and he did a good job at teaching Python. Sadly apart from writing simple scripts at home I haven't gotten a chance to work on full-fletched Python project.

@bankim: thanks for the kudos! i have to admit i'm one of those mutant engineers that actually likes teaching; hopefully my experience using Python really helped with giving you that perspective as opposed to someone who's just teaching you Python syntax which you can basically learn on SO or online elsewhere!

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