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What Python books to you recommend to beginners?


Songbird,


> [post ok'd by them]

=this time I've remembered to hit ReplyAll. Duh!


>> There are plenty of Python books 'about'. Beyond the 'basics' they tend to
>> become more topical, eg Scientific, Financial, Data Analysis... so what
>> suits you might not me.
> 
>    i'm pretty well read so i can adapt to a lot of
> subject matters as long as the concepts are geared
> towards what i'm after.  a solid example is a good
> thing as long as it covers the concepts - the
> problem i usually have with many examples though is
> that they are too simplistic to be interesting enough
> but that's just me being picky.  ha...

=yes and no (and nothing to do with you, personally).

=firstly, various specialist areas do tend towards their own 
sub-culture. For (trivial) example, data analysis, statistics, and 
(obviously) pure math guys will tend towards 'algebra', whereas more 
commercial folk preach the virtues of longer, more meaningful object naming.

=secondly, Python has such wide application that there are whole swathes 
of the PSL which people don't use/don't find relevant. Another trivial 
example: 'control' applications and file-based data analysis have little 
use for GUI programming.

=However, some flexibility in your skill set is a strong selling-point; 
so your aim of being "well read" is exactly right (IMHO).


>> Your question is rather broad and open-ended. Do you have access to a decent
>> library? What is available there? Have you looked at the various free
>> books/downloads and YouTube subscriptions? Happy reading!
> 
>    i do have access to a library and it is connected to
> the rest of the state and country if i can't get any
> of the mentioned items within the network.  though i
> much prefer an electronic copy because the amount of
> time it may take me to get through a longer text.

=conversely, I prefer the written (?printed) word for non-fiction and 
reserve eBooks almost entirely for fiction. At first I put that down to 
being a grumpy, old man - we who grew up with books can re-locate 
material by remembering roughly how far 'down' the book, whether on the 
left or right sheet, and perhaps even its proximity to a certain 
diagram/picture. Presumably eBook users (from birth) develop similar, 
yet quite different strategies. In a somewhat ironic twist, recent 
research suggests that even the 'digerati' are finding similarly, and 
asking for 'dead trees' over 'electrons'. So, what would I know?

=Like you, I am blessed with a library system that regards all of its 
libraries as holding a common (and most importantly, user-searchable) 
book stock (for free). There is also a nation-wide library inter-loan 
system (payable). Then there is access to universities' libraries, 
although most would only have borrowing rights at one (involves travel 
in my case). So, when tackling a new topic, I order one or two books, 
then when they arrive, one or two more - thus the later 'latency' period 
is absorbed by my devouring the first set! (and my aberrant greed not 
too obvious - I hope) However, the library idea would work so much 
better if everyone else just left-alone all the books I want, when I 
want them...


=Another thought: it's not a "book" but some/most enjoy Raymond 
Hettinger's talks, available from various PyCon sites/YouTube. He 
specialises in showing the smart techniques that I think you seek/will 
enjoy learning.

=Similarly, in following the various python.org mailing lists I note 
when/where various PyCons will be held around the world - especially 
those too distant to attend. Afterwards I look to see if they've 
recorded the talks. It's a good way for me to become aware of new 
developments in Python itself, and to see the myriad applications and 
(pertinent to your enquiry) the techniques folk use to accomplish such ends.
PS becoming involved in a local PyCon or PUG is a good way to pick-up 
ideas and make contact with folk who have said ideas!

-- 
Regards =dn