Irish author Sally Rooney's acclaimed second novel Normal People has made former US President Barack Obama's list of favourite books of the year.

In a post on Instagram, Obama shared his selection, which he admits has become "a fun little tradition" and described the list of books as something that "made the last year a little brighter for me".

He wrote: "Because while each of us has plenty that keeps us busy - work and family life, social and volunteer commitments - outlets like literature and art can enhance our day-to-day experiences.

"They're the fabric that helps make up a life - the album that lifts us up after a long day, the dog-eared paperback we grab off the shelf to give to a friend, the movie that makes us think and feel in a new way, works that simply help us escape for a bit.

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"To start, here are the books that made the last year a little brighter for me. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did."

Normal People is currently being made into a television series by the BBC and Hulu and has won several awards since it was originally published in 2018.

It was shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize, voted as the 2018 Waterstones' Book of the Year and won Best Novel at the 2018 Costa Book Awards.

In 2019, it was long-listed for the Women’s Prize for fiction and was ranked 25th on The Guardian's list of the 100 best books of the 21st century.