Dive Into Python by Mark Pilgrim.
- The beginning basics are all covered (and may move slowly for you), but the latter few chapters are great learning tools.
- It also describes the basics of the environment
- It is probably the best Python book out there for someone who's already a good programmer.
- It is useful, and really good.
- It's a quick read, and very well organized around fundamental concepts.
- It's pretty long (>700 pages) but extremely readable and you can rip through it very quickly given you're a quick study
How to think like a computer scientist: Learning with Python by Jeffrey Elkner, Allen B. Downey, and Chris Meyers
- If you're new to programming, the best book best for you.
Python Essential Reference by David Beazley.
- You might find this sufficient if you're an experienced programmer and want a concise and comprehensive overview of the language.
- If you're a novice programmer this probably won't provide enough hand-holding.
Python in a Nutshell by Alex Martelli
- It's concise and clear, and doesn't assume that you don't know basic programming things already.
- It is more like a reference than a book to teach you python.
- If you're quick to pick up new languages, it's probably exactly what you're looking for.
- There's a nice overview of how the language works, and then a discussion of most of the standard library.
Programming in Python 3 by Mark Summerfield
- I find it very good.
- It seems pretty good, although it is focused on Python 3
- It is very good for first-time programmers
- It's very long but basics of Python are covered in first 300-400 pages.
- It's a nice book for beginners.
- For someone that knows how to program and wants to get the 80% of the basics of the language, it's a good deal.