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