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Leisure reading

It's a good fall for local sports books.

The list starts with an effort from former News columnist Larry Felser, who has written "The Birth of the New NFL." It's the story of the AFL, from formation to its successful ending in Super Bowl IV in 1970. Milt Northrop will have a full review in the near future, but I'll give you a preview -- it's filled with plenty of good stories about the Bills' early days. The AFL writers had a great deal of access to everyone back then, and it's fun to read Larry's stories.

Jim Gehman has written "Then Levy Said to Kelly : The Best Buffalo Bills Stories Ever Told." Gehman found former players to talk about their days in Buffalo. What's striking about this book is that time has allowed everyone to be a little more honest. For example, Fred Smerlas is still steaming over Hank Bullough's brief tenure as Bills' head coach. The Bills' season-ticket holder on your gift list ought to like it a lot.

I haven't read "Then Perreault Said to Rico : the Best Buffalo Sabres Stories Every Told" yet. It's just arriving at local bookstores. Former Sabres executive Paul Wieland put it together. Full disclosure: Paul is my former boss and a good friend. But I know what went into the book, and I'm looking forward to reading it.

My next book is on the 1960 Olympics by David Maraness, "Rome 1960." How about you? Leave a comment on what's you've been reading lately.

-- Budd Bailey

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