Python Cookbook

Cover of Python CookbookThis may be stretching your interest a bit dear reader, but I’ve convinced myself I need to write a quick review of every book I read and put it here. Not least so that I know I’ve read them. Age and lager can weary a memory you know.

I’ve recently finished reading the first edition of the Python Cookbook, just after the second edition has been published. I’d actually bought this book when it first came out, but it has been sitting in my to read list for over two years. In my defence a fair portion of that time was because we were in another country and this book was in storage.

In summary it’s a great book, indispensible to have around when you are actually doing any Python programming. If your interests are more likely to run to train sets, crocheting or the latest happenings in the big brother house (you know I’m talking about you I.M.O.T) then you may not share my enthusiasm.

The book is a collection of programming recipes, collected from people who use Python in a variety of situations and for varied purposes. It therefore reflects the best practices of the community garnered from many years of experience. The key to a book of this nature is good editing, selecting and weaving the best contributions from a number of different authors into a series of coherent chapters. Luckily messrs Martelli and Ascher have done a sterling job here. Nothing jars, and reading each chapter you could be forgiven for thinking they were written by the same author.

My test for technical books of this nature is whether they inspire me to take up the keyboard. At least once in each chapter I found myself reaching for the keyboard to try out a command or a technique. I’m sure this book will be a valuable companion whilst I’m knocking out my half cooked code.