Think Python 2nd edition

The second edition of Think Python is in production now, and I just got the final draft of the cover:

Think Python 2e cover

And that reminds me to answer a question I get a lot: do you get to choose the animal on the cover?  The short answer is no.  When I worked on my first O’Reilly book (Think Complexity), there was a page for O’Reilly authors that laid down the law: cover designers choose the animals, not authors.  That page seems to be gone, and maybe the rules have relaxed, because I (sort of) got to choose the animal for Think Python.

The first draft I saw had a python on the cover, but I explained to my editor that Python is named after Monty Python, not the snake, so putting a python on the cover is like telling the world that you are not in on the joke.  She asked if there were any appropriately Pythonic animals, so I suggested either a vorpal bunny or a dead parrot.

They were not willing to put a dead animal on the cover, but they suggested a parrot, and I happily agreed.  I did not realize until much later that the designers had the last laugh: my cover animal is a Carolina parrot, which is extinct.  In other words, “This parrot is no more!  THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!”.

The second edition will be published in December, but the early release is available now.