The Invent with Python Blog

Writings from the author of Automate the Boring Stuff.

Book Review: Python Distilled

Tue 28 March 2023    Al Sweigart

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Python Distilled by David Beazley. Published by Pearson September 2021. 352 pages.

5 stars. Python Distilled has a perfectly suited title: This book is for experienced programmers who want to learn Python and need the Python programming language's core syntax, standard library, and Pythonic idioms. However, if you're a developer who wants to add Python to your toolbox, I recommend Python Distilled as one of the first books you should read.

Beazley endorses the view that programming should be kept simple by using simple syntax, and it shows in this book. But don't think that Python Distilled is afraid to dive into the advanced features of the Python language. And at 350 pages, the book strikes a good balance between giving you the information you need without overwhelming you with every nook and cranny of the language.

While the title might make you think the information is densely packed, I didn't have any trouble reading through the chapters. The book is well-paced.

If you're a complete beginner to programming, I'd recommend starting with a different book. But Python Distilled could easily be the second book on your list once you have some experience. For a comparable book, Python Distilled is similar in its aim as The Quick Python Book by Naomi Ceder. After reading this book, I'd recommend moving on to Fluent Python by Luciano Ramahlo, Effective Python by Brett Slatkin, Python in a Nutshell by Martelli, Ravenscroft, Holden, and McGuire, and Serious Python by Julien Danjou.

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