Book Review: Python Cookbook 3rd Edition

Python Cookbook 3rd Edition

Author(s)

David Beazley, Brian K Jones


My Rating

star star star star

After a few months hacking python in my spare time and at work, I was looking for a book that would teach me the breadth of Python without obsessing in too much detail about each topic.

Based on good reviews, and a personal recommendation from a Pythonista colleague of mine, I chose this book. It’s been a really good decision, and I definitely recommend it myself if you are in a similar situation.

What I liked most was the quality of the examples, the clarity of the explanation, and the variety of topics chosen. I now have a really good understanding of many Python topics, if not yet the muscle-memory and experience to back it up.

Professional Quality

Each recipe in the book starts with a problem and shows a pythonic solution. Currently writing a book myself, I understand the challenges involved in not being too opinionated and choosing expressive examples. This book does both things very well.

The authors do show flashes of their opinions, their humour, and their emotions, but I have no problem with this. Overall, the coherence and readability of this book is of a very good standard.

Wide Variety of Topics

Even though this a cookbook, it still covers a diverse range of topics from C interaction to concurrency, and Object Orientation to performance optimisation.

For a beginner like myself, who understands most of the language and syntax, it’s easy to understand what nearly all of the examples are trying to teach. So by the end of the book, I genuinely had a solid preparation for dealing with many scenarios in python such as meta-programming and scripting.

Admittedly, I didn’t just absorb all of the information and acquire the ability to execute anything shown in the book without a refresher. But I’ve started to create a mental model of Python and it’s libraries, so I definitely know where to look.

I thought the chapter on modules and packages should have appeared earlier in the book but apart from that one chapter, I thought the order of all other chapters was logical and worked well as I read the book cover-to-cover.

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