Python Pocket Reference

The perfect on-the-go Python Reference!

best python reference

The perfect Python Reference? The following is a review of the book Python Pocket Reference: Python In Your Pocket (Pocket Reference (O'Reilly)) by Mark Lutz, author of the book Learning Python for which you can find a review here).

Review of Python Pocket Reference

Ever need to look something up while coding?

Forgot the specific syntax of a line of Python code?

Can’t remember the parameters for a function?

Most of us solve these problems by searching online, but the information sometimes is ambiguous or even contradictory. Having an undoubted, Python reference book could be of mighty help.

And this is where Python pocket reference comes to aid the lost programmer. It is a fantastic little book that should always be resting in the desk where you work in case you need it. It contains concise, fundamental information about python types and statements, special method names, built-in functions and exceptions, commonly used standard library modules, and other very much used Python tools.

It is like the almighty Python Cheat Sheet, that points you just where you need.

Written by Mark Lutz—widely recognised as the world’s leading Python trainer—Python Pocket Reference is an ideal companion to O’Reilly’s classic Python tutorials, Learning Python or other more advanced Python books like Fluent Python.

Contents of Python Pocket Reference

The contents of this Python Reference book are:

  • Built-in object types, including numbers, lists, dictionaries, and more
  • Statements and syntax for creating and processing objects
  • Functions and modules for structuring and reusing code
  • Python’s object-oriented programming tools
  • Built-in functions, exceptions, and attributes
  • Special operator overloading methods
  • Widely used standard library modules and extensions
  • Command-line options and development tools
  • Python idioms and hints
  • The Python SQL Database API
  • Python Cheat sheet collection

You can find the official book website here.

About the Author

Mark Lutz is a leading Python trainer, the author of Python’s earliest and best-selling texts, and a pioneering figure in the Python world.

Mark is the author of the three O’Reilly books: Learning PythonProgramming Python, and Python Pocket Reference, all currently in fourth or fifth editions. He has been using and promoting Python since 1992, started writing Python books in 1995, and began teaching Python classes in 1997.

As of Spring 2013, Mark has instructed 260 Python training sessions, taught roughly 4,000 students in live classes, and written Python books that have sold 400,000 units and been translated to at least a dozen languages.

Together, his two decades of Python efforts have helped to establish it as one of the most widely used programming languages in the world today. In addition, Mark has been in the software field for 30 years.

He holds BS and MS degrees in computer science from the University of Wisconsin where he explored implementations of the Prolog language, and over his career has worked as a professional software developer on compilers, programming tools, scripting applications, and assorted client/server systems.

Mark maintains a training website and an additional book support site on the Web.


Python Pocket Reference is an amazing little book to have by your side when programming in this great language.

Take into account it is not a book for learning how to program in Python, but rather a book to look for the answer to very specific questions.

It has a great indexed structure, that allow us to quickly find whatever we are looking for.

For those that love to use paperback material, and find yourselves wondering the vast ocean of internet resources every time you have a Python doubt, then this is definitely the book for you, as it is a perfect Python guide for when you’ve got a doubt.

You can find it on Amazon at the best price here:

Python Pocket Reference: Python In Your Pocket (Pocket Reference (O'Reilly))
  • Lutz, Mark (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 262 Pages - 03/11/2014 (Publication Date) - O'Reilly Media (Publisher)

If you are looking for resources to actually learn Python, we recommend the following:

Some easier Python books that you might want to check out are:

Some other great resources for Learning Python, after which you will be able to tackle more advanced books like ‘Fluent Python’ are:

As always we hope you enjoyed the post! Have a great time and enjoy coding!

Tags: Python Reference, Python Cheat Sheet, Python Guide, Python Tutorials, Python answers, Python Programming for beginners.

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