Then last but certainly not least head on over to Kaggle.com.
They have introductory competitions which are awesome, as they are practical and you actually get involved.
* The Hollows series by Kim Harrison: https://www.goodreads.com/series/40628-the-hollows
* Discworld series by Terry Pratchett: https://www.goodreads.com/series/40650-discworld
* Dresden FIles by Jim Butcher: https://www.goodreads.com/series/40346-the-dresden-files
* Wiz by Rick Cook: https://www.goodreads.com/series/43084-wiz
* Programming Google App Engine with Python: http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920033219.do
* The latest additions to the Lean Series: http://shop.oreilly.com/category/series/lean.do
* Think Stats: http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920034094.do
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