"Foul Matter' is the publishing term (who said those guys didn't have a sense of humor?) for the marked-up, coffee stained, original hard copy of a manuscript that the publishers return to the author once the book is in print. From whence it can go to a box under the author's bed, a closet shelf. or a library's archives, if the author is Somebody. (Mine are in a drawer.)
Foul Matter is also the title of a wonderful book by Martha Grimes in which she does to the publishing industry what Elmore Leonard did to Hollywood in Get Shorty. A fun read for a glimpse inside.
Three more recent reads -- Deb Crombie is a favorite of mine but I put off reading Necessary as Blood when it came out because some of the plot line was similar to my work in progress -- female protagonist agonizing over whether to marry her long time boyfriend. It's a wonderful novel -- as are all of hers -- with an interesting look at the international mix that is modern London and the clashes that can occur. I'm feeling like starting back and re-reading this series from the beginning.
Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier traces the life of Mary Anning who, though uneducated, was a great discoverer of fossils in the chalk cliffs near Lyme Regis. I enjoyed the story for the setting and because it reminded me of bits from The French Lieutenant's Woman. As with her other novels, Chevalier has a website that will enhance your enjoyment of the book -- lots of pictures of the fossils described in the novel!
Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon is a kind of fairy tale for adults -- a retelling of the Little Mermaid story. Some lovely, lovely description.